When you check your e-mail inbox, if you're like me, the first messages you read are the ones that do not have a "FW:" preceding their subject headings. It's like checking your real mailbox and opening the letters with handwritten addresses first, before you open the junk mail. Everyone likes that connection with other human beings, whether through real mail or e-mail, and we seek that out before we do anything else.
So after you read your personal e-mails, then you work through the ones that are left...the forwards. Some are good. Some, not so good. They've probably been a part of the internet since its inception. You get a nice little sentimental poem in your inbox, and it's way too easy to send it to everyone you know. Surely they will like it as much as you do, right? The addendum at the bottom of the e-mail about how only the good people in the world will forward it, and the bad people won't, has sort of lost its oomph after being attached to every internet poem in the history of the world. It's a good thing that the e-mail-forward guilt trip has no teeth anymore. Generally, if someone sends it along, there are other reasons why.
So I do try to read them. And occasionally, I will send them to a few (a few) select family and friends if they meet certain qualifications, specifically, a high level of hilarity and/or inspiration.
I got one yesterday that was good. It's not just forward-able. It's bloggable. A meditation for this Christmas season.
It's the true story of a grandfather who was inspired to write a song about a single question asked by his grandson last Christmas. (If you just rolled your eyes at the words "true story," the website about the song should put your doubts to rest.) The four-year-old boy, waiting in line to see Santa at the mall, tugged at his mother's sweater, looked up, and asked her, "Where's the line to see Jesus? If Christmas is his birthday, why don't we see him more?"
The boy's grandfather, Steve Haupt, wrote out song lyrics in a matter of minutes. He made a demo video with his daughter, Becky Kelley, which has gotten over a million hits on youtube over the course of the past year. It's a wonderful example of the power of the internet, which made it possible for a "do-it-yourself" song to reach thousands, when, years ago, it would probably have had a much smaller impact.
An innocent, honest question from the mouth of a little child who really wanted to know...where is the line to Jesus? It's his birthday, after all. It makes sense that a little child would ask such a logical question. Of course he would want to go straight to the Man himself, not just Santa Claus (who's a great guy and everything, but in the end he's still just a nice guy that brings presents.) It's the same question that the children were asking when the disciples told them Jesus was too busy for them...to which Jesus responded, "Let the little children come unto me." Those kids way back then wanted to get in the right line, just like the line the little boy at the mall was seeking. The line that would take them to the One who would give His life for them. And...as the song says...the line that will one day stretch from His throne.
Take a minute to listen to this sweet, inspired song. And then, if you're a good person, you should forward it to everyone you know. Just kidding. But I bet the next time you see a Santa line weaving through the mall, you will think of the little boy who asked this question: