Thursday, December 6, 2007

A Song in Bethlehem, Life Lessons

When I opened this book, I was expecting it to be just another rendition of the Christmas story, but by the time I was finished, I was surprised that it was much more than that. A Song in Bethlehem teaches us about forgiveness and faith. But the most important lesson I got from the book is the importance of kindness and compassion. In the book, Naomi steals a coin from the family in the stable. She is caught, and when the father (Joseph) realizes she is a child and a hungry child at that, he gives her food to eat instead of throwing her back into the cold. He allows her to look at and sing to the newborn baby, and when the family leaves the stable, he gives Naomi the flute that ends up changing her life. This important scene reminds us to find kindness in our hearts for everyone, even if they’ve done something to us. Naomi clearly felt remorse for what she did, and Joseph forgave her and acted with compassion. We don’t always know a person’s motives behind a certain act, and if we take a minute just to look instead of immediately reacting with anger, we may find that all that person needs is a little compassion.

I’m not saying not every person is good…there are a lot of bad people out there, and I’m not saying that we should justify why a person did something wrong and that it’s okay to do something wrong or illegal just because you’re hungry or just because something else is going on with your life. What I AM saying is that we are often very quick to judge and not give people a chance, and if we sometimes just paused and took a good look at the situation and demonstrate kindness, there may be a completely different outcome, and we may make a deep positive impact on that person’s life. Joseph demonstrated this type of kindness and gave Naomi a flute who discovered a hidden talent that ensured she would never have to beg for food again.

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