As I handed the old box to my son, I neglected to mention how I treasure the contents. You see, a white ceramic nativity set (i.e. crèche) made by my Nonnie lies within, some of the figures in their original tissue paper which has yellowed with age. My grandmother died while I was in university, but the memories and the faith she gave me throughout my growing years is strong. This set represents all that to me in a tangible way.
So when my son came to me not long after to tell me he broke the angel, I tried not to over react. “I can fix it,” he spoke quickly, a young voice edged with worry after seeing my face.
Later, he came back to say the broken wing was hardly noticeable, and the angel was now secured above the scene with duct tape. Duct tape! My smile was weak as I went to see his handiwork (photo above).
What he had done amazed me, though not because of the angel. I had to look closely to even pick out which wing he repaired. No. It was the scene he arranged that strummed the cords of my heart and made me proud of my son.
Adults like me, who know how do to these sorts of things correctly, normally arrange the people who visited the Christ child in an arch which opens the scene for the viewer who remains outside. What my child did was to crowd the shepherds, the kings, even the animals close around the baby. Every ceramic person vying for a place in the circle nearest to our Savior.
Arrangement made over this year
My son captured a truth I had never seen before and showed it to me with the handiwork of a great-grandmother he has never met. How could it not have been like this? Especially after the angels told the shepherds the Good News? Even more so after the shepherds went around telling everyone they’d met about the Christ child’s birth.
God is with us. He’s finally here. Come see! What was broken will be made new. What was lost will be found. This is “Christ”-mas.
May your holiday be blessed in unexpected ways this year.–Kristin
Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock. 9 The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear. 10 The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying:
14 “Glory to God in the highest
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
(Luke 2:8-14 NABRE Version)
Kristin King is an author, publisher, nonprofit co-founder, and mother of four sons who break things on a regular basis. She has gotten much better at handling that than she used to be.