It is late. Very late here in Humphrey.
And sweet husband and littles are sleeping unaware of the many thoughts keeping me up at such and hour of the night….. er morning.
Tonight I decided to wind down by watching a movie. I am not even sure how we acquired it to tell you the truth, but it was brought in from the garage and I thought I’d dust the jacket off and give it a whirl while I wound down tonight.
It was “The Nativity Story”
I flipped through the opening credits with my usual, “trying to recreate Bible stories” cynicism and thought I would stick in out a half hour and then turn it off.
It seems lately I am pleasantly surprised.
Now if you know me I love history and especially delight in getting a peek into life, home life of any era far removed from my own and if you REALLY know me, than you know that I would scrap my Kitchen Aid and front loader for a mortar and pestle and threshing my own wheat.
I know, but that is me.
I guess I am a purest???
When not caught up in the goat’s milk cheese making and olive harvesting, I began to await the moment when the angel appeared to Mary.
I figured that it would go right along with the cheese making….
And to my amazement the angel had short hair and wasn’t strung up by tight rope wire.
And from that moment on I was hooked into the story.
And silly as it was, I secretly wanted Mary to stay with her Cousin Elizabeth.
I knew that it would be hard for Mary, no one would understand and Joseph…. Whew what would he say and worse yet, what kind of a look would her parents give her?????
And crazy as it is, and knowing the end of the story as I do, I still felt this way and squirmed in my bed watching it unfold.
And then it hits me.
MARY. A woman chosen by God and practically forgotten by us.
And by “us” I mean, “anyone not professing themselves to be Catholic.”
And in leaning so far away from worshiping her, we have plum forgotten her and all that she endured to bring to pass God’s greatest gift to man.
And I felt sorry for her.
I felt sorry that I had forgotten.
And then the tears began to fall with each taunting look or mention of the law and what it required for such a woman in such a position.
And in my forgetfulness of the story I watch and in my mind beg God to somehow spare her.
And Joseph receives confirmation and my heart can begin beating again.
I roll over forgetting the late hour and losing myself in this incredible journey.
The look in his eyes for a woman not even touched by him just melts me.
And they journey over 100 miles in her last stages of expectancy.
And I am on the edge of my bed and my one arm keeps falling asleep and I keep getting closer and closer to the computer screen half afraid I will miss something and half not wanting to wake my sweet husband oblivious to my late hour supposed “winding down.”
I see the Magi meet with Harrod…… my stomach knots. HE WILL GET HIM. He will get Jesus, I just know it. Why on earth did they give him such information, I fume!
And Jesus is born and shepherds hear a message and come and see him and I just want them all to leave her alone so I can just stare at this scene for a while.
And there it is. The Christmas card scene in full splendor.
Wasn’t it just today (now YESTERDAY) that I was looking at prospective Christmas card ideas? Liking some and wanting to get a move on so as to send them out EARLY this year and shock everyone? Wasn’t I just bemoaning the fact that the really nice ones just cost so much and we have too many friends and not enough stamps and I will just have to save for better ones at a later time?
And there it was right in front of me, and I felt shameful that I tried to put a price tag on God becoming flesh for all mankind.
(and yes I wrote that fast but then stopped and read it again still unable to wrap my little brain around that…)
And there are no crazy renditions of “Mary did you know?” thankfully.
There are just shepherds and magi and all of them looking at this baby like I am and the lot of us are all tearing up.
And my heart is caught in my throat and I knew I should have left the box of Kleenex upstairs and I wipe my nose on my sleeve like I do when something really moves me and I loose all sense of lady-like-ness.
And almost to my shock, the Magi decided not to tell Harrod, and the angel moves Joseph to move his family away and all is well.
And it ends and I am half relieved and half wanting a movie for everyday of Christ’s life to just watch and glean from .
And it hits me that I have 6 sleeping littles that need to hear this story.
Not the Christmas story book, not a cute poem from their English books, and not from someone else’s Christmas card who was too cheap to buy the good ones and send them to us.
They need to hear it, in their hearts, feel it, grab onto it and never let it go.
That God left heaven for them and became flesh for them and died for them and ever lives to intercede for them.
They need to weep and see how hard it was for Mary and how Joseph trusted and how God protected and how wise men believed and were moved and how shepherds rejoiced….
Because someone had come to save them.
Because someone has come to save my littles.
And I cannot hardly wait on the sunrise to meet them and tell them, and cry and hug them and give them the same, “it is almost like He JUST came” feeling that I have right now at two in the morning, under the stars on the couch.
It is more than a story.
It is our story.
And it breathes hope into my weary soul on a Saturday morning in October.
Good morning friends.