Now you do understand that this blog is to help get the word out about my recently published first book A Bird and the Dragon: Their Love Story: a Memoir, don’t you? You can purchase a soft-cover or hard-cover version or an eBook at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and at Balboapress.com. Though you may get tired of this lead-in, but with this blog I want to introduce you to characters in the book and tell stories that might not have made it into this publication or were not appropriate to be told at this point. Because of who I am, I also will sometimes bring up a new way of looking at life. Come with me!!
We are going back a long way to start. I was twenty-two and a new wife to a young minister in his first small Connecticut country parish. The kitchen in the old farmhouse/parsonage was off of the combination dining room and living room. The deacons, or elders as I liked to call them at that time, held their weekly planning
meetings in that big room. I’m a perky little housewife washing the evening dishes in the kitchen sink when I hear one of the men say, “Well, you know the birth of Christ in a manger is not a real event. People don’t know where he was born. The fathers of the early church dreamed up that story so the populace would accept that Jesus’s birth was a miracle and that he fulfilled the predictions in the Old Testament.” I stood, hands deep in soapy dishwater, and fought back the tears. You mean that beautiful manger scene that my brother and I used to set up as children was a hoax? There wasn’t any lovely pregnant young woman in blue riding on a donkey while her faithful husband walked beside her? She didn’t actually go through all that pain and suffering out in the cold of a manger stall with angels, shepherds, and farm animals checking in later to view the new baby? If I had been any younger, I might have run up the back stairs to cry my heart out. It took me years to come to terms with that man’s statement and also years of hearing other historians talk about the nativity scene and why it has always seemed to be a sacred part of our Christian tradition.
Each time I gave birth my mind would go back to that event and then my feelings as I held my first little baby girl in my arms and later when I held my second daughter. Miracle, yes! But okay maybe not in a manger! So do we have to have a manger scene with shepherds and angels to see divinity first hand? Would a hospital bed do? There is an awful lot of white in the hospital view without animals, but is the message similar?
Now let’s fast forward many years to the birth of my last grandchild—I have four. The mother didn’t wear blue but she was exhausted from carrying the infant for nine months although the birth was caesarian. The grandparents were allowed in to view the baby soon after he was born along with the cousins and his father who had been in and out throughout the birth. In my heart of hearts as I viewed this scene I knew that the nativity scene is real and it happens over and over again each time a new baby comes into the world. If indeed we each carry a spark of God within us, then I know that each time I see this new baby I am looking at the real nativity—and to hoots with the historic or lack of historic story. I know God, S/He is real and gets born over and over again for all the brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts and uncles and, yes, some of us lucky grandparents to view. I hope you have had a chance to see this divine child recently and, if not, do remember that meaning is in the eye of the beholder.
This is my personal Nativity Scene or the viewing of the Divine Child and this moment is the true Christmas which comes every time a child is born and there are adoring people around to watch the miricle unfold once again.
Have a wonderful holiday season. I will be family-occupied next week so there will not be a new blog. Thanks for indulging me and reading my messages.