I imagine myself to be like the little drummer boy. Yes, this is a fictional character, although truly, it is meant to represent us. If you will, allow yourself to view this song in a parallel. . .
What do I have to lay before a king? Nothing. A wretched self. An abused self. A wondering mind. A damaged heart. None of these things worthy for a king. I do not possess riches of any kind. There is no gold. No frankincense. No myrrh.
All I have is what is in my hands. Or in my case, my mouth. My song. My worship. My praise. Although at times, it may be off beat, off key, or just plain horrid – it is the only thing I have that has not been tainted. It is the only thing that is purely me. It has not been swayed by others, it is unique, it is precious to me. It is, indeed, my only perfect gift to give. Only because it is, indeed, the only untainted piece of me.
Why did he ask, “shall I play for you?” I imagined myself having previously said “my king, I have nothing but this.” I imagine that my heart would be exclaiming “Yes! It’s more than enough!!” I imagine my mind would be saying “It won’t be good enough. It’s never been good enough for anyone else.” So I would ask – “may I?”
In the song it is Mary who answers. Mary, who is the protector. She has carried the Christ child for 40 days. She has felt each move – every kick, turn, hiccup. It was her womb that nourished. She was second in command!
I believe the parallel is this: we come before God with nothing more than ratty human bodies, damaged hearts and speculating minds. We carry with us few “gifts” that are fit for our King. The few gifts we have, we offer them. It is Jesus who clears us. It is Jesus who nods his head, approvingly. He knows our struggles. He knows this is our one precious gift. His nod makes it fit for our King.
Then, we play. Whatever we have, we play. We know the truth as well. This is our one gift and it has been validated by the one who is our protector, who nourishes us, who has felt us grow.
Currently, I sit beside a campfire, gazing at a thousand stars. My heart is heavy and my mind is full. Yet, there is a melody. A melody that before anything, I lay before my King. I am the little drummer.