Monday, December 16, 2013

A third pause in Advent - the Last Straw

I had a lovely surprise on Friday when a little boy I teach decided to read this Christmas story with me. His brother brought him the book and we began to share the reading between us (because there was rather a lot of writing on the first page, and he felt daunted). I want to share what I took from the story with you, because as far as I can see it is all about Pausing in Advent!

So, here's what I took from the story:
A camel who is slightly past his sell-by date is chosen to take the Wise Men to visit the new baby king. He's tired and rather sore but when the young camels praise him he laps it up and adds to his own legend by boasting that he has the strength of ten camels.
On the way to Bethlehem, ordinary animals and people stop him to ask if he'll carry their own gift to the new baby king. The other camels could have taken a bit of the load, but no, he doesn't want to admit his own weakness, and carries on accepting the charges given and staggering towards Bethlehem.
As he nears the town a little child comes to give him the famous 'last straw' as a gift for the baby king's bed. Of course he knows it's going to finish him, but he accepts it and lurches into the final stage of his journey.
Limping into the stable, his knees give way and he finds himself kneeling in forced humility before the baby king. Others follow his example, thinking he's kneeling out of reverence not exhaustion.
The baby king reaches out and touches him. His pains and his sense of having to carry the whole world on his shoulders disappear and he realises why he was chosen.
Well, of course I was nearly in tears by the time my sweet little pupil had finished this. The author may be a man, but I sure feel that the story is that of millions of mothers around the world as Christmas approaches. We take on what may be ludicrous burdens, without realising that others are ready and available to share them with us, and we may be forced to our knees before we realise that Jesus is waiting to give us the real perspective, and the real healing, which are the centre of Christmas.
Thanks for all your contributions for a Pause in Advent! Your posts mean a lot to me and I have managed to read all of last week's now, I think! Commenting is another matter, and as I'm trying to avoid my own Last Straw I hope you'll forgive me for being a 'lurker' rather than a commenter on your posts again, this week.


marigold jam said...

What a great story!

Kathy said...

What a lovely story - and so apt for the burden on people (mainly mums) at this time of year.
I've enjoyed all the contributions to the Pause in Advent. Thanks for hosting!

Kezzie said...

How lovely! So true too! You take care of yourself, lovely lurker!x

magsmcc said...

I'm going to seek this book out as one of our Christmas books for next year. I do hope you're not really as close to your last straw as this, Floss? It's only Christmas. Jesus is for every day x

Angela said...

Oh this is a fabulous story Floss- thank you SO much!

Pom Pom said...

Hello dear Floss!
What a wonderful story! I like your story, too!

Maura said...

What a beautiful inspirational story, and it certainly rang a bell or two with me, thank you for sharing this.
Look after yourself

Maura said...

What a beautiful inspirational story, and it certainly rang a bell or two with me, thank you for sharing this.
Look after yourself

Ruth Fraser Davis said...

What a lovely story and with your tender thoughts added, it gives much pause for thought. Thank you for this.

Wishing you rich Christmas blessings and much joy.