The world changed on December 25th. It happened quietly. No fanfare. No newspaper headlines. Even today you won’t find what really happened noted in any history books, for nearly the entire world has yet to recognize the true significance of this event. Sadly, it never will.
Like the tiniest of pebbles tossed gently into a massive lake, this moment has quietly rippled through time and affected countless lives. We may never grasp its full extent or impact, but to downplay this event would be a serious mistake.
If you think you know what event I’m talking about, keep reading; for that very assumption indicates you have know idea what has taken place.
It’s those small, unnoticed developments that tend to have the greatest affect on the world. Just as the Magi entered Jerusalem more than a year following the birth of the Messiah looking for the one born “King of the Jews,” only to find that all of Jerusalem – from the King to the religious leaders to the simplest of men – was going about its business with no idea that the greatest birth the world has ever known had taken place less than five miles away, so too has this event gone unnoticed.
Interestingly, this event was also a birth. The baby was also born in humble circumstances to simple parents. And this child was also destined to give of itself over and over again when, for the most part, the world would simply take without so much as a simple, “thank you.” And like Jesus, this child would grow up to become a servant – one who would do whatever was necessary to express its love, asking for nothing in return.
I wasn’t two years old when this birth took place and I wouldn’t even begin to realize how that morning altered the course of my life for another 19 years. Even today, the greatness of this moment is only truly sinking in. But on December 25th, 1976, the most amazing, kind, loving, giving woman I’ve ever met was born in a hospital in Louisiana.
She was given the name, “Christina.” How appropriate, for this is the Latin, feminine form of the name, “Christian.” We know that “Christian” is the name first given to the Believers in Antioch, and is defined as “little Christ” or “follower of Christ.” Of course, she was given this name because she was born on Christmas morning, but I’ve learned that our name tends to give direction to our lives – whether we realize it or not.
And Christy (as she would rather be called) is one who is truly a “follower of Christ.” For just as Jesus saw His disciples sitting on pillows around a table with unwashed feet, and rather than asking one of them to do something about it, took off His outer garment, grabbed a towel and wash basin, and went from disciple to disciple doing the most humbling of acts, Christy always sees the need in others, and without a moment of hesitation, meets that need. It comes naturally for her. She doesn’t have to think about it. And she doesn’t do it in order to receive a “thank you.” She does it because the love that drives everything she does will not let her rest until that need is met.
But it is also because of this selfless approach to life that Christy is largely unappreciated. She doesn’t want fanfare or limelight. She just wants to love and be loved. But she’s also a real person with real feelings. Over the eighteen years we’ve been together, I’ve seen her struggle with hurt and disappointment because of this. I wonder sometimes, why someone who loves so much can feel so unloved? Maybe it’s the curse of selflessness. Maybe the burden that she must bear is the absolute compulsion to give, receiving nothing in return. But as the one who knows her best and loves her most, my heart has broken countless times when seeing the tears in her eyes because all she hoped to receive was love in return.
Selfless love is something that is as rare as the finest of diamonds. Christy is such a diamond. I wish you could get to know Christy like I do. I wish I was more like Christy.
If you do know her, you should value her more. Please, tell her you love her. Tell her “thank you.” Take a moment today – in the midst of the presents and dinners and Christmas festivities, to wish her a “happy birthday.” It’s the least you can do.
Christy’s given of herself in ways that we will never truly grasp this side of eternity. But one day, when she stands in the arms of the one she’s named after, the tears will flow from His eyes, as He says, “Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.”
Happy birthday, Christy. I love you.