‘Come right in’, I bellow.
It’s the delivery boy and he has a parcel for me.
Smiling like a watermelon, I reach for the gift box.
It’s covered in gleaming gold wrap, strapped with green and red ribbons.
It feels like a million bucks.
‘What could it be?’ I wonder, as the wrapping paper crinkles to my touch.
God knows it’s been a rough year;
Too many potholes, one or two craters and a curiously close call with catastrophe
God knows it’s been a tough steer;
Stuck in the same pit, not having moved an inch;
I wanted to, I said I would, I set my goals and said my prayers
But when the starter’s pistol went off, I ran in glue.
And now a box…
Who could have sent it?
There’s no card so I can’t tell. Still, I can’t wait.
I fiddle with the wrap. Place my ears to the box.
Is that music I hear?
The rhythm, in sync with my heartbeat
Hands trembling with excitement, I await a treat
The wraps come off; the ribbons too.
Ever so gently, I lift the lid on the box, and pause.
I turn it this way and that; that way and this
I shake it up and down; knock it on the wall
To find the hidden mystery within its depths
And for all my trouble, the grit sticks to my fingers
As the glitter fades from my heart;
‘It’s a hoax’, I say; It’s only a rock so dross’
Heavier than a sack of wet stones,
My soul is full of lead
The music is long gone; the light, a shade of coal
I grab the rock and lift my hand to throw
‘Wait!’ cries a voice within ‘Wait!’
Perchance it’s no ordinary rock;
Perhaps it’s a rock of strength; a pillow in troubled times;
An answer to a prayer
‘I have no use for it’ I say, ‘No room to keep it’
‘There’s always room for the things we cherish
How about on the mantle?’
Oh no! Right in view of everyone? I think not!
‘And on the dresser?’
‘I couldn’t bear to place that base piece of rock
Beside my expensive ornaments and finery
I’ll throw it out’
‘Oh no! Please hold. You could keep it in your room’
‘But I have no room for it. I can find no place for it’
So out the door it goes; thunk-thwack-thwack!
‘Can I keep it mister?’ asked a voice beneath the ebbing sunset
It’s a beggar in rags and he’s looking up at me
‘Sure you may, I don’t care much for it and I don’t have room for it’
‘Oh, thank you sir, I have room enough for it
Though queer of shape and size, it is a rock like no other’
And away the beggar saunters, far into the night
The rejected rock, close to his heart
Now the years have come and gone
Like sand coursing through a funnel
‘Hey friend’, a stranger calls; his smile a sunrise
‘I’m afraid you are mistaken’ I say, ‘I know no friend of great wealth and health’
‘Of course, you do’ says the stranger gay
I am the beggar beneath your window; the one to whom you bequeathed a rock
And while I stared with mouth agape,
This is the tale the stranger told…
No ordinary rock was the rock you threw away
It kept me warm on very cold days
And gave me a pillow on which to lay
One day while I held it up for shade
A ray of sunlight was caught in its till and like a fire that burned within,
It glittered and glowed through the rock’s dim crust
That little rock, I discovered in time
Was a coat of dross encrusting a diamond mine
That piece of rejected treasure
Brought me great wealth and pleasure
And in like manner… in no small measure
The builders rejected the Stone;
That brought us great rapture
The innkeeper, the Savior;
Who came to change our nature
The way, the truth and the life;
The son, who elevated our stature;
A Rock for all Ages
The bedrock of our times.
The reason for Christmas.
God’s gift to the world.
Written by Grace Ukanwoke