Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’

A Child is Born

December 11, 2014

A Child is Born

I wonder what Mary thought when she held Jesus in her arms for the first time. Was she afraid of what the world might bring to her boy? Was she ecstatic at the thought of what her boy might bring to the world? She wrapped him in swaddling clothes, laid him in a manger, and ultimately, she gave to the world the best gift she was ever given. Mothers do that.

2014 has been a year to embrace and think about the children in our lives. Last December Bruce suffered a massive heart attack and we came to realize that no matter how old a person is, he is still his mother’s baby, and Gladys almost lost her youngest. A mother never stops worrying.

Thirty-four years ago, my Mama watched her nineteen year old baby get married. Until that moment, it had been the two of us against the world. I left her, and didn’t understand her loss. I was supposed to grow up and go away, start my own life. That, I understood.

This year, my oldest baby left home and got married. I suddenly understood much more of my Mama’s experience. I sat in the attic, staring at Ben’s baby pictures, crying. He stood at the bottom of the steps, looking up at me. “Mama, why are you crying?”

“Because you are leaving your entire childhood behind,” I said, but what I meant was, “You are leaving us, leaving me.”

He hugged me tight, shaking his head and patting my back. Then, he moved to Maryland to be with his own true love, Emily, a beautiful girl who brings light, love, and joy to our Ben. We couldn’t have asked for a better partner for our boy.

When Ben left, I called my Mama. Of course, she understood my loss, and let me cry on her shoulder. “Children are meant to grow up and go away,” she said. “You do the best you can to raise them, then you let them go.”

Now, when my nineteen year old Ryan hugs me, I’ve taken to holding onto him a little tighter and a little longer than I used to. Time moves forward, and children grow up. They grow up fast, and then move on to have children of their own.

In early February 2015, our Emily will become a mother, and bring to the world her greatest gift, her son, Ben’s son, our grandson.

I arranged the nativity set last night as I do every year. With the animals, wise men, and shepherds gathered round, I placed Joseph, then Mary, and finally Jesus in the stable. I took a long time to look at Mary as she looked down at her sweet baby in the manger. I marveled at Mary’s love, a special love, a love that never ends, a mother’s love.

We’d like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, and a Very Happy 2015.

Jesus at Trilliman’s

July 27, 2011

I saw a man today who looked like the picture of Jesus on my grandmother’s living room wall.  At least the man’s head and shoulders looked like Jesus. The one in Grandma’s picture had on white robes and carried a staff.   This Jesus, the one at the shopping center, had on a Washington Redskins tee shirt and a pair of faded jeans.  He wasn’t wearing sandals.  He had on work boots.   This Jesus carried a backpack and smoked a cigarette. 

 The woman with him could have been an angel.  She was an older lady with solid white hair in tight frizzy curls all over her head, kind of like a halo.  She had nicotine stains between the index and second fingers on her right hand and her white cotton print dress was torn at the neckline.  Her black knee socks were rolled down to the tops of her hiking boots.  She sat with Jesus at one of the two tables in front of Trilliman’s, an upscale bakery and sandwich shop.  I overheard them talking about the hot weather as they shared the cigarette.

I was in my car at the curb, waiting for a prescription to be filled at the drug store.  I watched and listened to the couple.  Their presence reminded me of my childhood and the importance my grandparents placed on Jesus and going to church.  I had this sensation that I might hear the gospel, be lifted up in prayer, or feel the spirit rise in me.  It was one of those moments that made me feel like an epiphany was about to occur right before my eyes. This sighting was somehow important.  In my head, I heard my Grandma say, “Listen child, God speaks through angels.  Jesus walks among us.” 

I seemed to be the only one whose gut was reacting though.  People walked by, not paying attention to this vision.  Shoppers were busy with their errands and deadlines.  They hurried, shifting packages from one hand to another, children from one hip to another.  Mothers and daughters leaned together in conversation about summer styles and colors.  People gathered at the bus stop and looked at their watches. Even the dogs on leashes didn’t pay attention, and animals are supposed to have a special sense about these things.

Jesus and his angel sat for a time, quiet in their thoughts.  I got out of my car and spoke to the couple.

Jesus smiled and said, “Hi.”

The angel said, “I like your dress.  I used to have one like it.  Where did you get yours?”

I found myself afraid to admit I’d bought it at the second hand store.  I feared she’d think I was lying, but I confessed.  “At Goodwill,” I said.

“I love Goodwill,” she said.  “I got these boots there last week. They’re perfect for walking in the woods.”  

We talked for a few more minutes about mutual bargains we had found before I walked into the drug store to pick up my prescription.  I found a few other items I needed as well, AA batteries, vitamin C, a roll of wrapping paper and a Hershey bar, which I didn’t need, but wanted.  With all of that and my prescription, the total came to $13.13, an omen, I thought.

I went back to my car and looked toward Trilliman’s.  Jesus’ backpack and the angel were still there, but Jesus was gone.  The other table was occupied by a lanky man with a long pony tail.  He had a Boston Red Sox cap pulled down low over his eyes.  Every now and then he’d lift a paper bag to his mouth and drink.  The woman with him was old and had a Kroger shopping cart pulled up close to her.  It was filled with clothes, drink cans, an umbrella, a few plastic bags, tied tightly, and a ceramic flower pot with a small green plant growing in it.  She smiled a toothless grin at her companion as they laughed and talked. 

In a few minutes, Jesus came back with two orange sport drinks.  He loosened the top of one and handed it to the angel.  He sat down, and the four friends enjoyed their refreshments and each other’s company.

I was looking in my purse for my keys when the police car pulled into the space in front of me.  The officer got out and walked up to Jesus, the angel and their friends. 

“You all need to move along now.”

“We’re not bothering anybody,” Jesus said.

“We’re just sitting here,” the angel said.

“Unless you are a paying customer at this establishment,” the policeman said, pointing to Trilliman’s, “you have to move along.”

“Have you seen the prices in there?” Jesus asked.  “Nobody, including you, could afford to eat there.”

“Snooty people too,” the angel said, “turn their noses up when you walk in.”

“I can’t help any of that,” the policeman said. “I have to enforce the rules.  If you aren’t a paying customer, you have to leave.”

“I’m going to have a talk with the one in charge,” the lady with the shopping cart said. “He will take care of everything.  He won’t have any of this, you’ll see.”

 “Ok,” the officer said .  “But until I hear from him, I have to ask you to leave the premises.”

 The four trespassers gathered their belongings and walked south toward McLean Boulevard.   The old lady with the cart got some help from the angel when they had to maneuver the curb drops.

There’s another sidewalk café called Pop’s two blocks away.  It’s a bigger place with more tables.  Jesus led the way.