The Missing Christmas Tree
by Daniel Boeckman
(Omaha World-Herald, Monday, December 15, 1986, Page 11)
This is the story of a boy who wanted to learn how to paint. The boy found an old man that lived in his town who knew all about painting and went to visit him. The boy knocked on the door and anxiously waited. "What do you want little one?" the old man asked. "I want to learn how to paint." The old man invited him in. "I want to make a painting for my Mother for Christmas." "I see," said the old man. "Yes, I will teach you. Come tomorrow at the same time." The boy was elated and couldn't wait for his first lesson.
The next day the old man and boy went on a walk into the forest. "Pick any tree you wish and try to paint it," the old man instructed. Of all the trees to pick from the boy chose an insignificant little evergreen tree. "This is the one I want to paint." The old man was disappointed with the boy's choice for there were many magnificent trees all around them. "Very well, little one, it is a start. Try to paint it." The boy did his best and painted a trunk with a few branches. The old man was very impressed. "I see you have a natural talent for painting," the old man said. "Yes, my Father was a painter, but he died a few years ago," the boy explained. "Well, that is enough for today. Tomorrow we will have another lesson. I will keep this painting for you at my house. We would not want to ruin the surprise for your Mother."
On the next day they returned to the same spot. The small insignificant evergreen tree was gone. Someone had cut it down. "Where's my tree? Where's it at?" The boy was very upset. "We will find another tree, don't worry," said the old man trying to console the boy. "No, you don't understand. That was the tree my Father planted. It was to be our Christmas tree one day." The boy ran crying all the way home. His Mother asked him what was wrong, but could get no answer from him.
Finally Christmas Day arrived. The boy was very sad for he had no present for his Mother. He went to his Mother and said, "I'm sorry, but I have nothing to give you." Just then there was a knock at the door. It was the old man. He had a big beautifully wrapped package in his arms. "This is a present from your son. He wanted it to be a surprise." It was the painting of the tree. "Thank you very much, son." "It's Dad's tree," explained the boy. Joyfully the Mother said, "I know. It's beautiful and you have made me very happy."
That's the way God's love is. It is something very simple. It may appear to be an insignificant little tree in a forest, but it's really a sign of life and hope. One little baby boy was born some 2,000 years ago. God was showing His love for us by sending His son, Jesus. The picture was painted for us with words in the Bible. Read Chapters 1 and 2 of the Gospel of Luke . God continues to paint in 1986 and wants you to be with Him forever.
Have a simple Christmas.
Spring To Life, P.O. Box 991, Omaha, NE 68101-0991