A Child Confounds the World

By Paul Joiner

A Child Confounds the World
My dad has a great sense of humor, but belly laughs from him are rare.


Don Adams' portrayal as Maxwell Smart in the 60's television show, Get Smart, would evoke such a belly laugh. So would Tim Conway's antics as The Oldest Man in the World on the Carol Burnett Show. 


But, I have never seen my dad laugh quite as hard as when he watches Home Alone.


The story of little Kevin McCallister who is accidentally left home alone at Christmas and must protect his family's house from bumbling burglars, Harry and Marv, hits my father's funny bone every time he watches it.


Home Alone airs every year at Christmas, and watching it has become a bit of a holiday tradition for my family. Well, actually, Dad watches the movie and the rest of us watch Dad for his reactions.


Dad is not interested in the movie until little Kevin has his showdown with Harry and Marv; all beginning with Kevin's perfect aim of his BB gun through the doggie door. With one shot, Dad is in, and the laughter continues through the encounter with the red hot door knob, the torch that scorches Harry's head, the cleverly placed glass ornaments, the paint-cans-on-a-rope surprise, and ends with Marv using a crowbar to stop a crawling tarantula on Harry's chest.


There is something about this kid out-smarting two grown men that is utterly entertaining to my father, and millions of other people who watch this movie religiously every Christmas.


But isn't that what Christmas is all about? 


A child confounds the world.


There are certainly no divine parallels between the ornery Kevin McCallister and the Baby Jesus. However, both were alone, away from their family, had evil men in hot pursuit, understood their mission to "save the day," and, as a child, confounded all who witnessed their story.


Not only were Harry and Marv confounded by the ingenuity, tenacity, and bravery of this young kid, so was the Old Man living next door, the police, Gus Polinski and his polka band, and eventually Kevin's immediate family and cousins. There was a collective, "we didn't think he had it in him!"


Another Child confounds the world each Christmas. Jesus. He left His home, alone, to come and face all who seek to harm us, break into our hearts, steal our lives, and rob us of our joy. A bb-gun and a tarantula are not necessary for His work--a wooden manger and rugged cross accomplished His purpose.


And though we may laugh at the shenanigans of Kevin from Home Alone, we stop in silent awe at the humility of Jesus who left His heavenly home and come to Earth to be our Savior.


This Child was truly confounding.


Confounding the wise.


Confounding the world.


Confounding evil.


Even confounding the good.


And this Christmas, as in many others we've experienced, we are all left shaking our heads in wonder and rejoicing in what the Christ child has done, saying, "I'm glad He had it in Him!"

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