Denise Day Spencer

December 24, 2011

“I wanna see Jesus”

Filed under: Devotional Life — denisedayspencer @ 11:20 pm

Our little church was decorated beautifully for Christmas Eve Mass. Poinsettias around the Tabernacle, oil lanterns on the small shelves by the windows, golden drapes, and an elaborate crèche in front of the altar. The crowd was small but reverent. All, that is, save one.

The three-year-old soon became restless. He got noisy enough that his mommy decided he needed to leave the premises, at least for a while. The priest was giving his homily and the young mother did her best to hustle the child out the door as quickly and quietly as possible. But her plans were thwarted when the little boy bellowed, “I wanna see Jesus!”

Mommy stopped in her tracks when Father Pat interrupted himself to call out the child’s name. “Rocker?” (No, I am not making this up. His name is Rocker.) “Do you want to see Jesus? It’s all right; you can come up here and see Jesus. I’ll just keep talking, OK?” And as Father preached on, Rocker and his mother approached the crèche. She knelt down next to him and he studied the tableau for a long time. At last, satisfied for the moment, he returned to his seat.

The Mass continued and I heard these words in the Preface: “…For on the feast of this awe-filled mystery, though invisible in his own divine nature, he has appeared visibly in ours…” He has appeared. The invisible has become visible. For the first time, we can see him.

I wish I could tell you Rocker was a cheerful cherub through the rest of the service, but it was past his bedtime. He finally had a toddler meltdown and was whisked away — this time all the way away. I wish I could tell you that when we see Jesus it so changes our lives that we always obey him gladly. But we, too, have our meltdowns. We disappoint Jesus, others and ourselves. Yet we return to the manger because His love draws us, and because we are filled with wonder. The invisible made visible. May we always say with Rocker, “I want to see Jesus.”




  1. This sounds so much like the Father Pat I know. How sweet he is, and such a wonderful spirit. You are blessed to have him for a pastor. Please great him for me and send my love. Thanks for this wonderful story. Judy

    Comment by Judy Pal — December 25, 2011 @ 8:07 pm | Reply

  2. This is SO MUCH nicer than the cheezy made-up stories that float around the Internet this time of year! Thanks, Denise, for your profound insight. This makes me miss the children’s sermons you used to do. There was always an amazing, God-sent message.

    Comment by Cynthia Jones — December 25, 2011 @ 8:23 pm | Reply

  3. I have heard a number of cute stories involving children and Christmas this year. This one is not so much cute as it is a significant reminder to all of us of what really matters. Kudos to Fr Pat for his reaction as well as to Rocker’s mom for not being too embarrassed to take him up on his offer.
    And thank you, Denise, for sharing it.

    Comment by Wolf Paul — December 25, 2011 @ 10:30 pm | Reply

  4. Uplifting, and practical. Thank you Denise.

    Comment by Susan — December 26, 2011 @ 5:14 am | Reply

  5. Lovely parable.

    Comment by Dan Crawford — January 9, 2012 @ 6:14 pm | Reply

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