Believe it or not, I myself have struggled through mental illness. I have battled depression, anxiety, anger management, and PTSD. More often than not, the first three all culminate into the last one. There are a couple of feelings that can be associated with all of them; and those two things are loneliness and insignificance. Some days are better than others. But I too know what it’s like to be going about your day and like detectives, these two feelings flank you. One on the left, and one on the right. They force you into self-interrogation.
Do I even matter? Does anyone care? Am I good enough?
And unfortunately, the question that pops up more often, at least for me is “Am I good enough for God? How can I know he loves me?” Now, more often than not, some people unfortunately could care less about this question. I know that I personally have let this question gnaw and gnaw away at me. I’m gay, how on Earth could I ever be good enough for the Lord? And even as just a regular human being…I have absolutely nothing nothing of value to offer God when I die other than the fact that I tried to be the best I could be. So, if you find yourself asking these questions or know someone who does, then let me be the first to tell you that you-are-good-enough.
“Come, they told me (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum) A newborn king to see (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum) Our finest gifts to bring (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum)
I know what you’re thinking…why the hell are you quoting “The Little Drummer Boy”? Well, ladies and gentlemen, I promise you…as with anything I speak about, there is always a point so just strap in and shut up. I read about this song and it’s connection to the Bible in an Advent devotional. This is just me relaying it to you in my own way.
This first verse talks about a little drummer boy (obviously) who was summoned, we infer, by the Wise Men to come and see the new King and bring their finest gifts for offering. The song goes on as the drummer boy describes that he is just a poor boy and that he has no offering fit to give the King. The only thing he offers up is to play on his drum, to which Mary nodded. As the drummer boy plays, the song says “Then He smiled at me..” which obviously insinuates that Baby Jesus was more than pleased with this boys offering (or he was making a bowel movement…for those of you who don’t know, newborns smile when they poop) but we will stick with the former for all intensive purposes.
Now, nobody is positive that this actually really happened of corse. But there is a lesson to be learned from this Christmas Carole; even if, like me, you find this song really annoying with all of the “pa-rum-pum-pum-pum’s”. I mean, lets just pretend that this actually did happen. This small, poor boy, who owned nothing more than probably a beaten up busted drum, was summoned by the Wise Men to accompany them to meet baby Jesus. This kid went and met the Lord of all creation Himself. And he realized he had nothing of any real significance to offer to the Lord. He only had himself, and his drum. Baby Jesus smiles at him, which is symbolic of acceptance.
Let this song be a metaphor of us and our lives. Some of us honestly have no true talent…At least I don’t. We have nothing to offer to the Lord. We only have ourselves…and I don’t even have a drum. And for some of us, if we wonder whether we are good enough for our own human race…how could we possibly be good enough for God? We feel inadequate even to ourselves. We are broken, we are poor, we know that we offer nothing of value.
We are the drummer boy. The drummer boy knew that playing his drum was useless and probably a feeble attempt to please the Lord. Him playing the drum for baby Jesus is symbolic of him saying “I know I’m poor, I know I’m weak and broken, and all I have is this stupid drum..but I’ll play it for you anyway.”
But this King lacks nothing. He needs nothing. All he wants…..is you. Anything that you feebly give up to him, you give to him. And that is good enough. Whatever you give, you give yourself to be his. All his. And only his. You ARE good enough. And you are never alone.
“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and Earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.”
~ Acts 17:24-25