It’s that time of year when the child in me starts dancing in excitement with the approach of Christmas. One thing that still starts my anticipation engine is the story of Rudolph. Since I was a little kid, I have loved it, never tiring of it. My favorite Rudolph story is the one with Burl Ives narrating as the Snow man. I excitedly watched it last night!
Poor Rudolph was born with what everyone believed to be an unfortunate nose problem; it glowed like a neon light cutting through the storm. Ooops, I’m getting ahead of myself. He just wasn’t like the other young reindeer. His nose brought on all sorts of name calling, creating great sense of rejection within him. Rudolph ran away, but as he grew up he realized that running away did not solve anything. He knew he had to embrace his difference and stand strong. You know what happens, don’t you.
Rudolph’s nose turns out to be the saving factor of Christmas. The worst storm in history threatens to cancel Santa’s arrival; but then, enter Rudolph and his unusual and now marvelous glowing nose! I love that part best of all! Rudolph ends up being the biggest winner of all, but it would not have happened if he hadn’t taken courage to face his fears. The others who had first ridiculed Rudolph learned a lot, too.
I’m sure there’s a little bit of Rudolph in us all. We look in the mirror and we don’t like what we see: our nose is too big, our skin is not smooth, our weight is too much or too little, our hair is too curly or too straight. The list of what we don’t like goes on and on. Like Rudolph, we may be tempted to run away, hiding in attempt to keep ourselves from what we fear will be the rejection of others.
My mother used to tell my sister and me, “girls, it’s more important what’s on the inside than what’s on the outside.” She explained once that the most pretty people on the outside could well be the most unattractive on the inside. As I grew up I saw that very thing. Attractive people could be ugly by their actions and attitudes, while the physically unattractive could appear beautiful because of an inward loveliness that burst forth for all to see, just like Rudolph’s nose.
Remember, we’re never alone in our endeavors to improve ourselves. Our heavenly Father always has His potter’s wheel ready. He sets us down and gently rubs away the rough edges, molding us into His very image — as long as we invite Him to do His work in us. So, go ahead, shine your nose of difference for all to see. Concentrate on the beauty that can grow within, and walk through any storm with God’s own courage to light your way.
God said, “…as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand.” Jeremiah 18:6b