Thursday, December 6, 2012


I have always loved Christmas; how could you not? It's such a beautiful time for us humans, all being nice to each other, gifting, decorating. And sugar cookies. Oh, sugar cookies. Nom. As you get older of course, well, as I got older it lost a little magic, and then I had kids. Oh man, what a difference! The only thing better than waking up early to see if Santa came is watching the ones you love most in the world light up with the same moment! And as my girl, then girls got older Christmas was more fun every year, but it changed. I read the story of Baby Jesus as Mary and Jesus now. No longer a side character who happened to be there, I thought about how she loved Jesus, how God loves us in a whole new way. I'm not sure you can even begin to understand God's love for us without kids. I'm sure some folks without kids out there will beg to differ, but for me it opened up a whole new view of the world and God's love for us. This Christmas I have a new baby boy and let me tell you, it's a whole new world again. I hold my little J and think about Mary snuggling her little J, his tiny fingers wrapped around hers. And perhaps because my labor is still fresh and was less than pleasant, I think about having that same ordeal in a stable. I was in a fabulous hospital with a team of nurses and doctors and the latest technology. And showers. And no animals. My little J was wrapped in a wonderfully soft blanket after a gentle washing and brought to me. No manger. No poky straw. And labor is messy. Was the manger a mess? Did Joseph cut the cord? He must have. With what? Who cleaned up Mary? Did women at the inn come and help? Did Mary cry out in pain? It seems like she would have had some mystical clean, painless birth. But was it? Did Jesus come out a slimy, screaming mess? And let's say Joseph was the medical team, had he been to a birth before? That was a woman's realm back then.
Did her heart ache with love for him? Was she delirious? Were the animals quiet?
And then no longer newborn Jesus, did he have blowouts? Did he cluster feed at 4am? Did he put his fingers everywhere he shouldn't as he learned to walk and toddled about? Did he ever stomp his foot and declare to Mary, "No! You're not the boss of me!" And was she eternally patient? Sure we can stretch our minds to believe being the Son of God made Jesus an "easy" child, but was Mary holy in the same way? Did Jesus get time outs?
I just read my smallest A the wonderful story Nighty Night Baby Jesus (not a lot of text, but beautiful, simple pictures and rhyming text that I love. And animal sounds that little A loves) and there's a photo of Mary holding Jesus, looking down on him with such love and I know that look. I feel it when I read that book. I feel it and  I wonder.

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