Late Epiphany

Maybe the little drummer boy showed up

because he was all that was left of all the

other kings’ horses and men. All the rest

killed in all the other wars kings drool over.

Maybe he arrived not so much to worship

as to gauge authority, to divine if this was

simply another college try by humanity

at peace on earth, or if maybe, just maybe

this, this was truly something other—

this, this was the one who could coo as

nations raged while milking his mother dry for

the forgotten tongue of goodwill t’ward men.


In trembling exhaustion the little boy drummed,

and the child smiled.

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  1. Kay Hanevik on January 13, 2022 at 6:48 am

    Sometimes this precious child is all there is. Sometimes He is their only hope, the reason for getting up in the morning, believing, trusting that today will the best day ever.
    I may be hurting or sad or hungry but then I see the wonder of the sun’s pink entrance in the east and know that all is well! I am truly, deeply , unconditionally loved by my God and that is enough

  2. Jody Collins on January 13, 2022 at 9:45 am

    “the forgotten tongue of goodwill t’ward men.” What a line….

  3. Lynda Smith on January 13, 2022 at 11:03 am

    “In trembling exhaustion the little boy drummed, and the child smiled.”
    WOW!! LOVE that line!

  4. Sherrey A Meyer on January 13, 2022 at 1:47 pm

    Love the imagery found in that last line!

  5. Abby Blackmon on January 13, 2022 at 2:14 pm

    Oh, John!
    Just recently in my pediatric practice, I saw a precious and UNBELIEVABLY anxious 8 year old girl. As she, her mom, and I talked about the anxiety, triggers, etc, she told me a story about a boy in her class who had bullied her last fall. He ended up receiving 2 days’ in-school suspension. She then worried about him because, she said, “his parents were not very nice to him, and she didn’t want him to get into more trouble.” Two or three weeks later, Christmas presents for children in need were delivered to the school (VERY small town in rural east TN), and somehow she learned this boy would be one of the recipients. On the way home from school that afternoon, she told her mom she was so glad he was going to get Christmas presents, that she forgave him for being mean because he didn’t know better, and that she would continue to try to be his friend because Jesus loves him as much as He loves her. . . Not gonna lie. It was pretty much everything I could do in that moment to maintain any form of “professional” composure. My response was just to say, “Baby girl, you WERE Jesus to this boy. You ARE Jesus to this boy.” Even trembling with exhaustion, the faith of a child is such a SURE path to knowing the affection of the Father of Jesus and the smile of the Son Himself.

    Thank you. Back in the day, The Little Drummer Boy always topped Rudolph as priority viewing during Christmas special season. I remember why. Thank you.

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