When I was a kid one of my favorite television Christmas specials was “The Little Drummer Boy.” Even then, I always pulled for the underdog. The gist of the story is about a poor orphan obsessed with playing his drum. This same boy was distrustful of people. To say he was anti-social would be an understatement. He found contentment only in playing his drum and spending time with his animal friends. Sound familiar?
However, when his lamb is hit by a chariot the desperate orphan finds his way into the caravan of the Wise Men and seeks to go before the new Savior to find healing for his lamb. This orphan was considered one of the “least” in society. He wasn’t regarded highly at all. Comparing himself to these Wise Men the drummer boy felt small. He had no title or status; he certainly wasn’t wealthy and really didn’t feel worthy to come in the presence of the King.
The three kings who traveled to see the Savior presented expensive gifts such as gold and myrrh. The orphan in contrast had nothing material to give. However this child does give the only thing he has, which is his talent. He plays his drum for baby Jesus. What appears to be the least compared to expensive gifts of the Wise Men is actually the most. The Savior “smiles at him.”
I tried at times to develop my child to become one of the “Wise Men.” Yet this story prods me to remember that my child doesn’t need to be nurtured into becoming a “king” or someone different from who God created him to be. His own inherent talents, just like those of the little drummer boy are more than enough.
Sometimes our children have talents (or obsessions) that seem minor to us because we don’t understand them or appreciate them as we should. Their gifts aren’t highly regarded. They may be thought of as “less than” by others.
Yet, when we allow them the freedom to pursue some of these avenues, we may find that their “gifts” just like those of the little drummer boy are blessings and indeed pleasing to God. The little drummer boy was a peasant. He was shunned by society but had a gift and honored God with it. When we do the same and not compare ourselves (or our kids) to others (or their expectations) we allow opportunites for their talents or gifts, no matter how quirky or odd, to become a blessing.
When we come before God nurturing the gifts He has placed within us, there is no need to look and compare ourselves to others. When we search for God and choose to come before Him, we are free to fulfill the purposes and the plans He intended all along. The peasant drummer boy never imagined he would play before the King.
Sometimes children on the spectrum do things “professionals” never imagine. These kids even surprise themselves. We must have faith that God has a purpose and a plan even when we can’t see it or understand.
We need only to come before God sincerely or even desperately, with all that we have. I believe when we do this, we too can say “and then He smiled at me…”
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope,” Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV