I have a confession to make.
I like the song “The Little Drummer Boy.”
No, really. It brings tears to my eyes.
Every so often this time of year I read snarky comments about it: “Yeah, I bet Mary was pleased as punch to have some punk kid come start banging a drum right when Baby Jesus had finally fallen asleep.” And yeah, I admit, it’s a bit of a stretch. But then the singer gets to this part:
I played my drum for him, pa-rump-a-pum-pum
I played my best for him, pa-rump-a-pum-pum
Then he smiled at me, pa-rump-a-pum-pum
Me and my drum.
And then I start to weep. I feel stupid, but I do it anyway.
Because that’s what Jesus wants from us: to play our best for him. What I have to offer might seem insufficient, or trivial, or foolish. But that’s what I’ve got, and that’s what he wants from me: that, and no less.
Of course, it has to be done right: the singer has to sing it like he means it…which is why my favorite version of the song is Ringo Starr’s. I don’t know whether there was any religious feeling there when he recorded it; but by golly he plays his drum, and he plays his best, and whether he meant to or not he’s offering his playing as a gift to Our Saviour. God bless him.