Forty years ago a friend from church showed us the clay manger scene above as she removed it from the kiln. The magnificent work was to be displayed at a local art gallery.
Tears slipped down my cheeks as I saw how Mary held Jesus as Joseph, the angels, wise men and yes, even a camel, gazed upon the holy moment. It reflected and epitomized the very essence of motherhood as Mary tenderly held and cuddled her wee one, holding him close to her heart. As a new mom, getting ready to celebrate our Jamie's first Christmas, I was overwhelmed with the holy scene.
I couldn't stop looking at the display. Oh how I wished we had the financial resources to purchase it, yet I knew there would be no possible way. After all, it was a gallery piece, and we were still young marrieds with an infant. Need I say more?
Imagine my utter surprise Christmas morning when I walked out to the living room. There, underneath our "Charlie Brown" Christmas tree was the manger scene I that had so moved me. The artist added a camel for Jamie to commemorate her first Christmas.
To this day I still can't believe how Bill had kept the gift a secret (or that I hadn't figured he had something up his sleeve!) He had seen how deeply touched I had been when our friend showed it to us, fresh out of the kiln. He stealth-fully spent several evenings and weekends prior to Christmas cutting and stacking cords of firewood, bartering with our artist friend, so he could purchase it..
Forty years later, I am still moved. We keep the manger scene out all year as a reminder that Christmas is every day and to stop and reflect upon the true meaning of Christmas:
Reflections of love.
A mother's love.
A husband's love.
A friend's love.
But most of all, the love of God, the Father, sending His only begotten son down to Earth so that we may have life...Eternally.
As we spend time reflecting this holiday season - we pray each of you may feel and see the blessing and true Reason for the Season - the glorious gift that arrived as a baby, who brings us Peace, Joy and Life.
Care Tuk is a nationally known speaker, educator, and retreat/workshop leader. She has been a school, hospital, and home health occupational therapist for more than 30 years. She has been named as a Top Business Woman in America and recognized for her work with youth, disability outreach and awareness, and the American Cancer Society.