They all knew she was special, this little star, from the day that she came to be,
She had a certain twinkle all her own that everyone could see.
“You’ll one day be a superstar,” others often chortled with glee.
“God has something planned for you; just you wait and see!”
But that little star paid no mind to the others; she just kept on burning bright,
Until the time God paid a visit to the stars one very special starry night.
“I’m looking for one star among you … It’s something special,” He said to them,
“You see, I need one of you to light the way to a little town called Bethlehem.”
Well, the older stars all huffed and puffed, “We don’t have that kind of power!”
“Why, if we tried to light ourselves up that bright, we’d all burn out in an hour!”
But God just waited patiently, ‘til from somewhere way back in the sky,
Came a small steady voice from that young little star saying: “Hey, I’ll give it a try!”
“Don’t do it, it’s too dangerous … you’ll burn yourself out” cried the little star’s friends and family.
“Don’t worry,” she assured them, “I’m perfect for the job. I’ve got lots of bright light left in me!”
Then to the amazement of every star in the heavens, she lit up as bright as the day.
That little star burned brightly throughout the night, shining down on baby Jesus in the hay.
She went right on burning through day and through night without question or worry or doubt…
Until that little star had burned so long and so bright, she finally just burned herself out.
Her family and her friends, who had all been so proud, were now all saddened and stunned.
They said, “God, it seems wrong for this to happen to her, after all of the things that she’s done.”
“It’s never wrong to give light like she did,” God replied, “to those who are lost in the night.”
“It took a young star to light the path to my son … And no matter the cost, that is RIGHT!”
“You see,” God explained with a reassuring smile, “her light was her passion, her song … ”
“Some stars, like her, are meant to burn twice as bright, but sadly for us, half as long.”
JIM RUMSFELD is a member of St. Charles Avenue Church in New Orleans. He wrote this in memory of Ellen Hinson, a college student in the church family, after she died in an auto accident.