A woman struggled with a flat tire on the side of the road. She didn’t want to call her father, but was starting to think it was her only alternative as it was his car. His freshly washed car, her carefully planned surprise would be ruined, but it couldn’t be helped.
As she began to dial, she heard a vehicle coming toward her. Waving her arms, she hoped the truck would stop. Happy to see that it slowed, she smiled until she recognized the driver. The man behind the wheel was her former boyfriend.
She reminded herself that he was married, but she still felt her stomach flutter when she saw his face. As he exited the vehicle and assessed the situation she wondered how to get out of talking to him, for she feared her voice might fail her. He wore no ring, but that might not mean anything she told herself. He had his jack out of the truck and already the car was lifting off the ground and she hadn’t said a thing.
He smiled when it was clear the job would be easy, he could leave quickly. He wanted nothing more than to leave as soon as possible, for he had a dry catch in his throat when he accidentally glanced at her. She had that look that he knew well, a look of holding back and trying to appear in control. It had been etched in his memory from the day he told her their relationship was over. It was for the best, but it still bothered him to have hurt her like that.
When he spread the rumor that he was married, it was in hopes she would focus on school or find someone better than him. She had aspirations to be a doctor, and he knew she could do it. His financial situation would only hinder her, so he had let her go so that she could reach her potential. It was only when he saw her that he felt the pain again.
Finally they broke the silence and spoke briefly on the situation. She explained that her father had become quite ill and was finally being released from the hospital tomorrow. She was going to have his car cleaned and detailed to surprise him, but didn’t realize it had a flat when she took it. He nodded but said nothing. The spare was almost on and he could be on his way.
He heard the question, but let it hang in the air as he tried to think of a way to answer her without betraying his thoughts. It was an impossible question. Was he happy? Of course not. He nodded without facing her, and then asked for details about her father’s recovery to change the subject. He heard her foot on the gravel where he hadn’t expected it, and he realized she had seen his expression. He slowly met her eyes and the truth spilled out, without her he had been anything but happy.
Moral of the story:
Matthew 2:11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.
In Matthew 2:11 we read of how the Wise Men responded to the child, they worshipped Him first. They presented themselves face down before any dialog. It struck me how opposite this worship is from my worship at times. I have good intentions to worship, but I let those good intentions be enough and let my thoughts wander away. In this story the daughter had a worthwhile intention, to surprise her father with a clean car. The boyfriend also had a good intention, to set his girlfriend free to go after her dreams without hindering her.
In the case of the Wise Men, they were completely focused on the child. We aren’t told of the words exchanged, of smiles or even of the visitors holding the child. Instead, we are told He was treated as royalty, something they did not do for Herod, the actual ‘King of the Jews’. The long-awaited, promised king was finally here. He, the rightful heir to the throne of David, was paid respect and honor. It is humbling to realize how much I must let go of – my agenda, my concerns, and my life – in order to truly worship.