Facebook is one of those things that tend to eat up more of my time than necessary. The idea that face-to-face interaction is a necessity for forging friendships is one the internet age seems to have laid to rest. It can, and in fact does, happen. I’ve met a great deal of people online that I willingly call friends, and the fact that I often have little more to go on than their avatar and the words they type doesn’t matter.
Funny, isn’t it?
Over the weekend, I posted something on Facebook about one of my all-time favorite Christmas specials. I’ve watched A Charlie Brown Christmas every year since I can remember, can quote vast passages from it word for word. But this year, I spotted something I’d never seen before. Something important. I flung it out on my Facebook wall, hoping it might provide some food for thought. The response was enough that I wanted t post it here as well:
Linus has always been my favorite Peanuts character, all because of that blanket. How he always carries that thing around. It’s his peace and his confidence and the most treasured thing in his life. To him, it’s the one thing that keeps him safe.
But even though he’s my favorite, I never noticed until this morning what Linus does during the most important scene in A Charlie Brown Christmas. Charlie Brown breaks down into a fit, asking if there’s anyone who knows what Christmas is all about, and Linus takes the stage to recite from Luke 2. He gets to the shepherds abiding in the fields and the angel appearing, and that’s when it happens—the one tiny act that, after watching that show every year since I was a boy, actually made me tear up a little:
Linus says, “And the angel said unto them, ‘Fear not,’” and then he lays down his blanket.
Leaves it on the dusty, dirty stage. As though telling everyone that all the peace and confidence and safety wrapped up in that blue blanket pales to what the swaddled babe lying in that manger offers us all.
I’ve always missed that. I never will again. To me, that second or two of a child’s cartoon is some of the most profound storytelling I’ve ever witnessed.