I was going to apologize for disliking a Christmas song, but on second thought, I'm not sorry. When I first heard The Christmas Shoes, I cried (not good, I was driving) and I went home and told my husband about it. But then I thought...wait a minute...what?!
Did you ever actually listen to the words? A little boy whose mother is dying is sent out by his father to buy her new shoes. A possible scenario, but I doubt it. Wait though, because it gets more complicated. This little one, all alone doing his shopping, at night, doesn't have enough money!! What kind of a parent does that? He's filthy dirty. Why? His mother could die any minute and he's sent away. Again, why?
The writer was obviously ratcheting the tear jerk factor extra tight. This is a song written purely for an emotional reaction. A rational person cannot listen to it without, at the very least, some pertinent questions.
I don't mean to hurt anyone's feelings, like the said writer of that song. (The song was #1 on the Adult/Contemporary chart in 2000, and has been made into a movie, so I don't feel too terrible.) But really, have we become so jaded and so cold, that we have to make up ridiculous stories to feel good about?
Isn't the truth of Christmas poignant enough? Do we need to do this to ourselves for the sake of "Christmas spirit"?
This is the truth: we were dying, without hope of rescue. God, who had this idea all along, set in motion a plan to purchase our salvation. He sent his son to mix with the dregs of humanity in a complex and daring (to me) mission. He was sent with everything he needed to complete his mission. He did what he needed to do, so we...so I, don't have to die. Little Mary, brave Joseph, baby Jesus. These very real historical figures bring tears to my eyes.
I am tenderhearted. I cried during Titanic, when Secretariat won his race, for the accomplishments of athletes and educators and at graduations. I get goosebumps when I hear the National Anthem, and I thrill to hear the laughter of my grandchildren. But if you see me dry-eyed during even the most heartfelt rendition of The Christmas Shoes, now you know why.