hoedls haven
Where Nature is the source of all artistic expression
Thursday, December 14, 2006

At first glance, it's somewhat of a humorous sight when you drive by. A home on our route to school each morning presently displays a half-sized plastic and lighted manger scene; complete with animals, shepherds and two Magi. But no matter what day you drive by the home (due to its physical exposure to the North Dakota north wind), you will find one or both Magi, or Wise Men, blown over and laying on their side. Why there is only two Wisemen (since biblically three are referenced) is another story, but the situation of the "sleeping Wisemen" has become quite an issue with our three-year-old triplets. And it's Hannah who will ask me each time we pass the home, "Why are those Vice Men sleeping?" If she only knew what she was asking...

There comes times - several of them, if you're observant - when Life presents moments that simply stun you. They are grand moments and subtle events that simply knock you off your feet and leave you speechless. They can astound you simply by the magnitude of their message or the powerfulness of their image.

An example?

A newborn baby in the arms of his/her mother or father.

The comforting word of a son or daughter to an ailing parent.

The solemnity of a perfect sunrise or sunset.

The beauty of a selfless act of kindness and generosity unseen... except by you.

A young couple holding hands on the sidewalk, oblivious to the world around them.

The power of a solemn prayer spoken and offered up.

The act of utter and complete sacrifice.

Perhaps it's no surprise that we find these Wise Men lying on their sides all over town. The sheer and subtle magnitude of the birth of this gentle child changed EVERYTHING. And in the wake of this birth, we can't help but be stunned... and speechless... and knocked off our feet.

The heavens and earth would bow to this one gentle birth and would leave all of Life speechless and prostrate. This one gentle birth centuries ago would change the way we live our lives today, the way we address one another and the way we view our life and future. This one gentle birth would ultimately place the magnitude and power in each of the examples above.

The reason for the season leaves all seasons open for the reason; the reason that leaves us clutching the ground in wonder and awe.


Post Note:

One subtle opinion: I'm not sure why Hannah has decided to refer to these Christmas characters as "Vice Men," but this much is true: There is no amount of wisdom or knowledge that can fully comprehend or dismiss the glory that was about to occur in that lowly stable. To think otherwise would simply be wrong. And in the light of that so-called wisdom and knowledge might very well lie our greatest vice.

One humorous perspective: Since the sighting of these toppled Vice Men, the children have witnessed other "manger mayhem" around town. First, there was the Joseph lying against the manger itself, as if he were tired, while Mary looks on. Second, there was the lawn that displayed ONLY a lighted plastic Joseph... lying on his side. There was no sight of Mary or the infant or any other character. Finally, there was Joseph lying on his back on the lawn, next to the manger. This time, however, Mary was lying on top of Joseph as if to be giving him CPR. It just goes to show, mothers have a much stronger fortitude than men during childbirth.


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