The first year she found out I was on the way to being the first Grandchild, my Paternal Grandmother started buying me Wallace Silversmith bells for Christmas. She passed away in 1999, but my Dad has continued the tradition of buying me the silver bells each Christmas. I now have enough to decorate my entire dining room Christmas Tree with just these silver bells.
Each bell has a different design with the year embossed on it. Each bell has it’s own specialized box marked with the year. Each bell is real silver. Real silver needs to be polished, pretty much each year. This year as I was taking the bells out, and lining them up by year I thought about polishing them. Then, I just looked at one of the tarnished silver bells. And, I thought this is me, this is us. This is beautiful. Tarnished, worn out, a little dirty, but worth absolutely no less because of it. Isn’t that the true beauty of why we celebrate Christmas after all? Our precious Savior came as a new born baby; bright, shiny, fresh, and perfect. Just like my new silver bell for this year. No blemishes, no flaws. But, that precious baby was born for the sole purpose of cleansing our tarnished lives. There is nothing so dirty, that He can’t make worthy. Just by submerging ourselves in His salvation (symbolized in our church by water baptism), we can be made new and bright. Just like I could choose to dip these tarnished silver bells in some cleaner and make them bright and shiny. But, you know what, I more often need the reminder that it isn’t my job to do the cleaning, submerging, or changing.
So, this year. My tree is decorated with some beautiful, fresh silver bells. Some bells have a few prints and spots on them, some are more tarnished than not, and some are just completely tarnished and dark. But, there will be no dipping and cleaning this year. I’m letting the bells hang as they are as a reminder that we’re all just hanging out in this world perfectly imperfect, tarnished and worn by the circumstances of life, waiting for the Savior to come and cleanse us. He’s got this, He’ll clean up our messes. We’re worthy, worth way more than pure silver hanging on a Christmas tree.