I wrote a few days ago that I was looking for the holiday spirit. Later that day, in an attempt to be proactive (seeking rather than waiting for some comfort and joy to throw itself in my lap) I brought my Christmas boxes in from the garage, pulled out the Christmas CDs and put them on, and rummaged through the decorations with my kids to get the show on the road. We didn't get the tree until the end of the week, but I put up what decorations I could, and there was some holiday enjoyment in the process.
I opened up a large plastic container containing our Nativity set secured in bubble wrap and old newspaper. Ella helped unwrap and then handed the figurines to me. A wiseman, another wiseman, another wiseman. A shepherd, some sheep, a shepherd. Mary with the Baby Jesus. I placed them all carefully. The camel here. The wisemen there.
As I took the donkey, I thought about this humble beast. Blessed donkey; thank you, I thought, for carrying that tired, pregnant woman. I don't know how comfortable a ride it would have been, but having born four children I am sure it was better than walking all that way. I put the donkey near the front.
And after the donkey, Joseph. It was then that the sweet Spirit of Christmas swept over me. I felt it as I stood still, real and powerful.
Humble Joseph. Blessed man. Humble donkey. Humble Mary, servant of the Most High, surely not entirely aware of all she had been asked to do, but willing to do it anyway. To bear a child in a lowly stable. And what child! The King of kings sleeping in a manger. I placed the lambs carefully; a symbol of Him.
The collective humility overwhelmed me.
And then, it comforted me.