The Christmas Ribbon

By Laurie Bennie

The large red ribbon danced with excitement as the choir practiced for the Christmas Eve service. It would be his first ever and he hung proudly on the door at the back of the church, part of a wonderful array of glittering decorations.

The choir was singing, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, and as he listened, he tried to understand what was so special and beautiful, but he really could not make it out.

Swaying to the music, he suddenly felt himself slip off the nail and swirl onto the floor.

"Oh well," the ribbon thought, "I'm sure Joshua, the nice man that hung me up, will find me."

Just then, the choir finished and everyone began bustling out the door. In their excited chatter, no one noticed the ribbon, and he was shuffled right out of the church and into the cold night! As he lay on the dark steps, he could only hope that Joshua would look outside before he locked the doors. He heard the sound of the lock and he realized he was truly alone.

Suddenly, the north wind gusted across the steps, floating the red ribbon high in the air until he came to rest on - "Oh No! - A busy street!" It was wet and gravelly from traffic, and he could feel the dirty water begin to soak into his red satin. Noise grew louder and louder as two bright lights came towards him, and squashed him right down into the mire. His ribbon lost all its crispness and was completely covered in slush.

More and more traffic rolled over him, and he realized that he was now only one more piece of garbage on a cold, dark city street.

The ribbon heard footsteps. Soon, Joshua was bending over him.

"Goodness gracious!" exclaimed Joshua. "Ï wondered where you had gone. I didn't expect to find you."

The ribbon was carried inside to the kitchen, where he anxiously eyed the large garbage can as they walked past. Instead, he found himself in a sink of warm water, and felt all the dirt float away. Soon, all parts were clean and wrapped in paper towels.

Joshua gently dried and ironed the ribbon.

When the church doors were unlocked for the Christmas Eve service, the ribbon was refastened to the door (this time very securely). Many people stopped to admire the ribbon, and he wished Joshua could hear this reward of his love and care.

As the choir began to sing, Hark the herald Angels Sing, the ribbon listened again to the words, trying to understand.

"Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth"

Second birth? Suddenly, it became clear to him. He had certainly been given a second birth. Did God give people a second birth? He did not suppose they were plucked out of the gutter, but if somehow that is what God did for people, no wonder Christmas was so joyful! The ribbon beamed with happiness!

As Joshua locked the back doors of the church that evening, he looked at the ribbon. "Somehow," he thought, "that ribbon is even more beautiful then when I first hung it there!"

 

Laurie Bennie is a freelance writer based in Calgary, Alberta. To contact her, email: lebennie@shaw.ca

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