The day Sydney stole the show

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 24, 2003

The kidnapping took place at the children’s Christmas play at church. The deed was done in full view of a sanctuary full of witnesses. Plenty of folks had turned out, armed with cameras and camcorders, to see their children and grandchildren, nieces and nephews, in this much-anticipated event.

The little ones, decked out in their tinsel halos and plaid robes, were uniformly adorable, eliciting &uot;oohs&uot; and &uot;aahs&uot; left and right as they scurried down the aisle. Mary and Joseph were such a handsome young couple – and could there have been cuter collection of kings, shepherds and baby lambs? To our admittedly biased eyes, it didn’t seem possible.

Still, it was toddler Sydney who stole the show.

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Sydney Malone was our littlest angel, complete with gossamer wings and white robe. With her silky blonde tresses and cherubic smile, she certainly looked the part. I suppose Syd would have been a hit no matter what she did.

As soon as she entered the sanctuary that morning, the littlest angel headed for the manger and proceeded to swipe Baby Jesus’ stand-in, swaddling clothes and all, right out from under the wide eyes and small noses of a wide-eyed Mary and Joseph. She cuddled the little bundle close and even sang to him a bit, much to the delight of the audience.

And she wouldn’t have given him up without a fight – or so her mom feared.

&uot;Syd loves baby dolls and she wants a baby of her own. So I told Hayley [a.k.a. Mary)]not to be surprised if Syd took the doll…I didn’t want Syd to start crying in the middle of the play,&uot; explained Syd’s mom Shanna.

Syd did return &uot;Baby Jesus&uot; to his crib once or twice during the course of the production, but only briefly. She just couldn’t seem to leave the precious bundle alone for long.

How gently this little angel handled the newborn king!

&uot;Did you notice how well Sydney was treating Jesus? She was just a-rocking him and being so careful with that baby,&uot; noted our pastor with a smile.

As I watched young Syd’s antics and laughed, I also found myself thinking what an object lesson there was in her genuine zeal to care for that baby doll.

Surely, there can no better time than Christmastime to embrace the One whose birthday we celebrate; no more perfect time to hold Him close to our hearts.

If we hold Him close today and every day, we can and will extend His great love to others.

Many thanks, Sydney, for the life lesson. I’m so glad you decided to steal the show.

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