12/10/08

Christmas #6: The Lamb and the Light

Marney's was so excited! Her[don't tell us, show us] little heart was beating [beat; avoid passive voice] in anxious delight as she was helping [helped; passive] her mother trim the tree and decorate the house. She held the figure of a little lamb tightly in her fingers so she wouldn’t drop it.

“Don’t squeeze the lamb so hard dear. It is very delicate and you might crush it. Put it by the baby Jesus." [watch out for long sentencees.]

“Ok, Mommy,” she said, and reluctantly she placed the figure of the little lamb in the Crèche [not capitalized] under the tree.

“The little lamb also has a meaning, dear. It is the symbol of our Lord Jesus, who was called the ‘Lamb of God’. He was called the lamb, because in the ancient days the Prophets looked forward to his coming, and lambs were sacrificed as a remembrance of the Lord Jesus who would be born, and who would die for us so that we would be able to go back to live with our Heavenly Father someday. We take the sacrament for the same reason now, dear.”

Marney didn’t understand much of what Mommy was talking about, she just knew that every time she said her prayers that she had a warm feeling inside that told her that Jesus loved her. [two sentences.] She bent over the Crèche, touching each figure of the manger scene, [no comma] ever so gently with her pudgy finger. She let her finger linger [be careful of unintended alliteration] for a while longer on the baby Jesus, and then back to the little lamb.

“Lambs are a lot like babies, Marney,” said Mommy. “They are very helpless and small and need a lot of watching and care. Jesus called us his lambs and his sheep, and he also said that he was the Good Shepherd.”

“Oh, Mommy, Jesus is just a little tiny baby. These are the shepherds. You tell funny jokes sometimes.”

“Yes dear, Jesus was born a tiny baby in a manger, just like you see in the Crèche. But he grew up to be our Lord and Savior. Just like your daddy was once a little baby and grew up to be your daddy.”

When you are four years old, big words like “Lord" and "Savior" and "symbol” are a little confusing, but Marney still was happy and excited about getting ready for Christmas, and she was feeling a warm glow in her heart that told her that Mommy was telling the truth and sometime she would understand more.

Mommy was standing on a step stool, placing a glowing star right up on top. “Why do we put a star on top of the tree, Mommy?”

“Long ago the prophets said that Heavenly Father would send a new, bright star to tell people that the Lord Jesus had been born. The new bright star appeared in the sky, just like the prophets said it would. It was a sign that Jesus is the Light of the World. It guided [awkward; use "led"] the Wisemen to see the baby Jesus; they had been watching the sky for it to appear.”

“Did the baby Jesus shine like a star, Mommy?”

Let me explain it to you, dear. Do you remember a while ago when I plugged in the string of lights, and look at them to see if any were burned out and needed to be replaced?” Marney nodded her head thoughtfully. “Well, come over here and touch the light bulbs, now that the lights have been unplugged.” Marney wrapped her fingers around some of the bulbs.

“They feel kind of warm,” she said.

“How did you feel in your heart at Home Night [what is this? You need to make sure your audience will recognize a term. If there's any question, explain it.] when Daddy told you how much he loves Jesus and that he knows He is real?”

“I felt warm in my heart and my tummy. I felt like laughing and crying at the same time,” said Marney.

“Well, Marney. We can’t see the light on the Christmas bulbs anymore, but we can feel that they are warm. You can’t see the light in your heart, but you can feel it is warm. That is the light of the Spirit of the Lord. [I love this analogy!] That is your heart light, dear. Jesus is the Light of the World because his [capitalize] spirit shines in our hearts. The Lord Jesus sends His Spirit to us, because He can’t be with us in person like He was when He came as a little baby. When the shepherds came to see the little baby Jesus, they could feel the light of His spirit shining in their hearts, too.” [I don't know if you capitalize spirit or not. I don't have my LDS Style Guide handy. But you need to be consistent. You can be forgiven for doing it wrong, but not for being inconsistent.]

“If Jesus came and stood here, you would see that He shines like the sun, Marney dear. But He can’t stand here with us right now, so He sends us His spirit to light up your heart light.”

Mommy finished putting the long string of lights on the tree, and then she plugged it in. Marney looked at the sparkling lights in awe. “They look just like a zillion sparkling stars!” squealed Marney.

“When you look at all the beautiful Christmas lights, Marney, think about the Christmas Star that Heavenly Father sent us to tell us that the baby Jesus was born, and that He is the Light of the World. And think about your heart-light [hyphen or not; be consistent]-- the warm feeling you have inside you that is His Holy Spirit shining in your heart and soul.”

[End the story with a reaction from Marney.]
* * * * * * * *

Marney was standing and looking at the newly decorated tree, holding her newborn baby girl and watching as Ken was plugging in the lights, and the tree blazed into holiday glory. She remembered back to that day she had helped her mother decorate the tree so long ago. She now understood to some extent, what love really was, and the meaning of the words “Light of the World and Lamb of God.” But she still knew, as she knew back then as a tiny four year old, the feeling of her heart-light, and the Knowing, beyond words, of the Love of the Spirit of Christ in her heart.


What I liked best: The analogy of the Christmas lights/heart light.

Magazine ready? No. Brush up on your grammar. You have quite a few run-on sentences. Who is your audience? Children? It's too complex for young children. Also, we need a little better sense of place, character, physicality and other descriptions interspersed with the dialog.

2 comments:

Heidi Ashworth said...

Great story for the Friend magazine!

Taffy said...

Great story to explain the season! Thanks