Saturday, June 14, 2014

What the Wax Angel Saw

"Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool." Isaiah 1:18 

"What the Wax Angel Saw: A Christmas Sermonette"
      There was once a little wax angel with golden hair and a blue silk sash, who was taken gently from her bed of cotton in the attic every year for many, many years and poised on the green spire of the great fir tree in the library. Her outstretched arms seemed always to be scattering blessings on the happy circle in the glow of the Christmas candles.
      She had looked down on the first Christmas of the wide-eyed first born; she had smiled her waxen smile at the boisterous joy of ten, the sentiments of sixteen and the worldliness of forty. Indeed, her blue glass eyes had beheld the seven stages of Yuletide rejoicing.
      Now, one day it was noticed that the beautiful blue sash of the little wax angel was faded and grimy, that her pink cheeks were pale, her nose quite flattened and her left foot gone.
      "We'll have to use something else for the tree this year," said Mother. "The little wax angel is all worn out."
      And the next day her flattened nose was buried in the rubbage heap.
      Nobody would have believed it, but the wax angel was glad her tree-top days were over. Her arms were very tired scattering blessings that were reckoned by dollars and cents; she had often wished to close her eyes on the pretenses and petty calculations of Christmas giving; she had grown pale because of her long vigil over the mockery of the Christmas spirit.
      She had seen greediness planted in young hearts by the thoughtless generosity of their doting elders. She had seen quick eyes search for hidden prize marks, and, when found, she had beheld their owner's look of chagrin or satisfaction in reflecting upon the exchange of baubles that had been made. She had heard wives and daughters and sons accept complacently enthusiastic thanks for lavish gifts--thanks which the wax angel knew were due only to the Father over there with the weary eyes and the limp purse.
      She knew, too, that the frenzied purchasing, at the last minute, of that piece of real lace for the Rich Aunt has cost not only more than could be afforded, but it had cost also all the Christmas joy--meager enough--of the salesgirl who sold it. It's fussy, irritable selection had been the last straw at the end of many tired days. After the last sale the girl at the lace counter just crumpled up and lay on her bed all of that Christmas day and other days besides.
      You see, it is given to little wax angels to see many things, hidden or unheeded by the best of us.
      Suppose you resurrect the one that may have topped the Christmas tree of your youth--or perhaps only of your fancy. Let her unblinking eyes peer into your secret soul, and note if she finds there the real Christmas spirit, or the mockery thereof, that has paled her cheek and dimmed her blue glass eyes. Or perhaps it may have been a silvery star that glistened on your tree-top. Look if it has not been tarnished by your growing indifference to the good-will and kindness and other things for which is stands.
      With a shining star, and all that it symbolizes, or an all-seeing little wax angel as your mentor, you will need no other Christmas sermon.

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