You oughta know better

So I'm in my bookstore on Christmas Eve day, and we're rockin'. I mean, best day before Christmas ever from a purely angels-get-their-wings standpoint, if you follow the cultural idiom. And I'm busy personally – helping people, encouraging them, being nice to them.

And as people are throw money at me and I'm throwing merchandise at them – in a nice way – these two women walk into the bookstore with a little girl. My help greets them, and I notice them because they don’t act like middle-class people. They burp when they talk, they talk too loud, that kind of stuff. You know: which happens in Arkansas (no offense to anybody).

Eventually, the wave of business subsides, and I catch a breather, and I take a walk around the store to check on the people who are still browsing – because people usually appreciate that. As I chat with the handful of people still in the store, I notice the two women and the little girl still browsing, and I ask them if they need any help. They don't, but as I trade service talk with them, I notice that they need a bath more than they need a book. They also prolly need to give up the half-pack of butts they smoked driving over here, but I ignore that and move on. I've come out in public when I've been no prize, either.

So I go about my business, and one of the women comes to the desk to ask for some help, the little girl in tow. We chat some more, and the more I talk to her, the less I am impressed with her social skills, and I start to get a little antsy about her parenting skills. She's not smacking the kid around or anything, but I'm pretty sure I have never talked to my kids that way unless they were on the verse of being crucified – which is an interesting word to use there, but it's the one that came to mind as I was sort of forced to eavesdrop on this slice of life. Not unless I was on the verge of crucifying them.

And I start to think to myself, "How can she not know better?" So she puts this book about Christmas on the counter along with a Bible and some other junk, and I look at the Christmas book, thinking about the Sunday School lessons I have been teaching the last 3 weeks.

Because the Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We saw his glory – the glory of the one and only, full of grace and truth, who came from the Father. We have all received from his fullness one gracious gift after another. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came about through Jesus Christ.

No one has ever seen God. The only one, himself God, who is in closest fellowship with the Father, has made God known.

That is, God has made himself know to those of us who prolly need more than a bath and to give up a half-pack of cigarettes, and know better than to talk to our children as if we were about to crucify them. The One who did crucify His one and only son has made Himself known.

I'm the one who ought to know better. Especially at Christmas.