Jesus read: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
Advent Day 6 – Our Haitian Angel
There are some stories that become definitive, as much a part of who we are as the family name. Our Christmas angel is one of them; she could no more skip Christmas and stay in her box in the attic than the manger the baby Jesus sleeps in, or the wise-guys who patiently journey to Bethlehem, or the presents under the tree.
She has been in our family since Christmas 1983. Rebekah found her while doing mission work in Haiti, believing she would make an authentic addition to our niece’s collection of international dolls. She was carefully swaddled in tissue paper, placed in a nice box, wrapped in gift paper, and placed under the tree.
Later, during the gift exchange, our Haitian doll was unwrapped, labelled “too ugly,” rejected, and discarded in short order. She was left in the pile of trash, with the torn paper and shredded ribbon. She became “refuse” because she had been “refused.”
REDEMPTION: But Rebekah, who had been paying attention to the sad progression of events, retrieved the Haitian doll and – essentially – adopted her into our family.
Since then, Ms. Haiti has assumed the role of “Christmas Tree Angel;” and – mostly – she sits at the very top, where she has the best opportunity to share her message of hope and promise with as many visitors as she can.
“What is it that makes you say that?” we reply. “Is it because she’s not ‘pretty’? Because she’s not white? Because she doesn’t sparkle? Because she doesn’t have wings?”
Our Haitian angel is front and center because she is exactly why Jesus came. God came – God comes – for the poor, the lonely, the despised, the rejected, the dispossessed. Jesus comes to bring light to everyone who is in a dark place; to bring hope to those who feel hopeless; to bring peace to the conflicted; to offer healing to the broken; to become belonging to his children – of every variety – who have no family; to bring life and refreshment to human beings who have been confined to the refuse dump.
Many American Christians go to Haiti to do missionary work. In 1983, a quirky, eloquent, persistent, beautiful Haitian doll turned the tables. She’s been preaching now for 30-years – and she’s not going to stop any time soon.
Peace and Promise – DEREK
gallery of – 6 – Advent images:
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there's always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor's degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men's Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.