To properly tell this story I must go back a few years first. No not that many years, just almost twenty. The year was 1996, and I had just turned 5. I didn't know it then, but I was sitting in my future Mother-In-Law's Kindergarten class at the little private Christian school I attended.
December came around and we were going to put on a little nativity, just us kindergarteners for that year's Christmas play.
My best friend and I (Who coincidentaly is still one of my dearest friends), had ,had a rivalry going on all year, and this moment was no different. Both of us knew we were contenders for the part of Mary, and the competition was fierce.
|This was a year or two later when we got along just a little bit better. lol!|
The day came when we were to find out our parts, and written on the chalkboard was easch of our names and the part we had been given.
But there at the top was something that set my little heart to anger, Jessica's name next to the part of Mary, and mine but a lowly angel.
Well I just decided I'd fix that, surely there had been a mistake! Mrs. G. left the room and I promptly pulled a chair over to the blackboard and switched our names in my large, uneven, childish script.
I'll never forget my beloved teacher's reaction, though. Instead of anger, or punnishment, she simply explained to me the importance of the angel Gabriel, and the part that he played in delivering the good news.
I supposed after that, that I could endure the part, for her sake mostly.
Now fast foreward back to 2015. This year our church decided to put on a little nativity for the children's service. A very simple affair with Mary and Joseph, a Manger, and the three wise men. Naturally, being 8 months along myself, I was asked to play the part of Mary. I couldn't help but feel a little thrill of excitement, twenty years later and It would be my name on the black board!
But today I must admit, it was a different feeling all together.
|The one silly selfie I got to send to Jessica. (Captioned "Nanny Nanny Boo boo")|
There was a flurry of silly costumes, and a sad female baby doll wrapped in a towel, but I couldn't help but be awed by it all.
As this mother, "Great with Child" was escorted down the aisle by my husband, I began to tear up.
I imagined Mary, a much younger girl than myself, being told that she would have a child out of wedlock, in a time when that meant almost certain death. I can imagine being completely overwhelmed by it. Having to tell Joseph, her parent's, her friends.
I can imagine the relief that Joseph believed her, having been told himself, but still having the humiliation of the community looking down on her, shunning her, maybe even hating her.
I imagined that later, just when her time was upon her, ready and scared to death of bearing her first child, being told by a distant monarch that she had to leave everything familiar to her and go to a place she had possibly never seen before.
I thought of how blessed I am to be able to look foreward to giving birth in a clean hospital environment with kind and knowledgable nurses and doctors, ready and waiting if anything goes wrong, and I imagined how frightened she must have been. Feeling the beginnings of her pain and not being able to find a place to stay, and finally being offered a place in a barn, the dirtiest place in the world.
But then as I sat down next to that manger and sad looking baby doll, I watched the "Wise Men" come down the aisle and lay their gifts before it. Though I know they came later, the shepherds still came that night. I can't imagine how awestruck Mary and Josheph must have felt that night. People came to worship this tiny baby that had been hated and shunned since the moment it was conceived, but this child would soon save the world, one heart at a time.
Oh yes, it was a powerful feeling.