The real story: As told by children
Some people are fascinated with angels.
I’ve never been.
In my child’s eye, angels with gold wings and gold shoes were kind of prissy. Like Cinderella and Snow White, who never seemed to have too much fun. Cinderella let those mean sisters boss her around. Snow White had to cook and clean up for the seven dwarfs and then she ate a poison apple and died.
Angels just floated around in the clouds and played music on harps.
So, I’d rather be Wonder Woman. She got things going.
But every year when it was time for the children’s Christmas program at the church, the director would start passing out angel wings to all the little girls.
Every year I held up my hand to be Mary because she got to sit in the stable with all the animals and the Baby Jesus. I wanted to do that but I never got picked. The director always picked the same people for the good things. I didn’t like the “same people.” They were pets.
The boys got to be the shepherds and the Wise Men. They got to wear their daddies’ bathrobes and carry walking sticks and gold and other stuff. The angels … we just walked down the aisle and sang with the heavenly host – whoever that was.
But I loved being in the Christmas play because I loved the story about the Baby Jesus and how nobody would let his mama and daddy come into the warm house and stay with them and how the Baby Jesus was born in a barn with cows and sheep all around.
My granddaddy had a hay barn and it had the nicest kind of smell. I was sure that the Baby Jesus liked that, though, and the way the cows mooed so soft and low. He probably liked it out in the barn better than he would have in a house.
But I could never figure out why Mary just left the Baby Jesus lying there in the manger. He must have been cold. If the director had let me be Mary, I would have picked up the Baby Jesus and held him. I was Wonder Woman. I could hold a baby good enough to keep his head from falling back.
I had a baby brother and Mama would say, “Hold his head, now. Don’t let it fall back.” So, I could have held the Baby Jesus and kept him warm. But those “pets” didn’t. They just sat there and grinned at their mamas and daddies out in the audience.
But, when the real Baby Jesus was born, I could just imagine how it was. Out in the dark fields, the shepherds were watching the sheep when all of sudden a bright light appeared in the sky and an angel showed up and told them in a loud voice that the Baby Jesus had been born.
If I could have been that angel coming to tell the news about the new baby, I would have liked that. She got things going.
How I loved the story we told at the Christmas play. It was the real story about the night the Baby Jesus was born. I just don’t think there’s any better way to tell that story than by little children with angel wings and in their daddies’ bathrobes.
Merry Christmas, to all.