I love the words to “the Christmas guest” as sung by Grandpa Jones.
The lyrics of this song deal with an old man who has a vision that
God will visit him that Christmas evening. God never appears in the
form the man expects but several people appear who are in need and
the man helps them. Later he learns that as he did for these few
in need, he also did for God.
I think people have made a mistake in their belief of a hierarchy to
God’s love and to how they prioritize those who they give their own
love. It says in the Bible that God loves all things and not just
those things that appear in a similar shape and form to our own
People are often plagued by their own ego in that they
believe they are more important that other beings on this earth and
that they should prioritize the gift of their love only to humans.
Here’s where these paragraphs cross paths. A daily event at
my workplace involves people bringing in stray cats and dogs. During
our cold mornings, two men brought in a pair of cats. They had
located the cats, cold and paired for survival, and sought
reservation in the pound. I could see one cat was particularly cold
and its rear paws was shaking. Seeing that little infirmity in
another being filled me with compassion.
The cats went to the pound. I was told they wolfed down their food.
They must have been very hungry from being cold and alone for so
long. I never feel good about the strays that are brought to us but I
feel better when we can help them.
Those little cats were like the guests that came to the old man’s
cabin in “the Christmas guest.” Can anything be as lowly and needy
as two little cats just a few degrees from death? Animals are
creations of God and sent to us so we can care for them and love
them. We are never closer to God than in times of need; whether it is
our needs that beg fulfillment or others who need us. Helping those
little cats was an opportunity to care for just one of the creatures
whom God loves so much.
Sometime later, one of the men who found those cats came back to my
workplace. The sight of those shivering paws and hopeless demeanor
had created compassion in someone else’s heart. One of the men who’d
saved the cats now wanted to bring them both home. This expression of
love really made me happy.
God’s greatest gift is love. He really didn’t tell us who to love or
how much to give them. God’s greatest expression of love was sending
his son to be born in a manger and later grow to save us from sin. It
is Christmas so be generous with your love, whatever the form. Those
little kitties were first saved and then claimed forever by a human,
a beautiful mirror of God’s love for us. In the birth of Jesus, God
made the first step to save us and when Jesus was crucified, we were
saved. Merry Christmas.