Last year, I recognized the season of Advent on my blog. A couple weeks into December, I got a little distracted by a little pink plus sign. So I’d like to continue the tradition of writing about Advent, and let’s HOPE I do not get distracted by ANOTHER little pink plus sign. Holy cow. I would cry if that happened.
I can’t believe December is here again already. At this time last year, I was at my desk in the office, drinking my coffee, possibly getting things together for a bid, and having no idea I was actually pregnant at the time. Today, my three-month-old daughter is napping in her room and I’m stealing a few precious moments to myself to read and write. So my thoughts on Advent will probably be a little different his year, but that’s ok.
I reread some of my Advent posts from last year. I really enjoyed reading them, and was even somewhat impressed with myself. So that’s how eloquent I am if I have enough sleep and am not changing ten diapers a day while a little person screams bloody murder in my face! Wow!
This morning, as I skim through the story of Jesus’ birth, I have an entirely new spin on it. It does make the story more interesting. Here’s what I see in my mind’s eye:
Jesus is no longer this angelic little baby I always pictured, sleeping quietly in a manger with a halo glowing over His head and all the animals standing quietly, watching Him sleep so peacefully. I don’t know a single baby like that, and I can’t help but wonder how normal of a newborn He was. Since He experienced everything a human would, felt all our pain, bore all our frustrations, and lived out the human experience, I’ll bet He was pretty fussy. What if he had colic? I mean….why not?? Lots of babies do. I wonder if He screamed for hours, His little face red and scrunched up, His arms flailing about, His yells reaching far beyond the walls of that stable at all hours of the night. (Maybe that’s what the three kinds followed in addition to the star??) That would be more believable than a baby who was quiet all the time, right?
Then I also wonder about Mary and Joseph. They’re always shown as so happy, so in love, so warm and welcoming to their new little one. And sure, I was like that with Heidi initially when she was born. But after a couple days, that glow faded. Sure, it came back here and there, but overall, I couldn’t believe how much work she was. I almost got panicky, wondering why I ever thought I could be a mom. Those times when Heidi would scream and scream and scream, and there was nothing we could do, I would get so frustrated. I wonder how Mary dealt with it? Because I’ll be honest…when Heidi gets like that, I don’t care if she going to be the next president, the one to cure cancer, or savior of the world…I am ready to drop-kick her out the front door. Did knowing Jesus was who He was help Mary stay calm as a new mom? Or did she lose it too? And how in the world did she nurse Him? There were no lactation coaches, no breast pumps so she could have Joseph take over feeding duty for awhile…this chick was on her own. Plus, she had no disposable diapers, no bouncy seat, and no swing. Fail, fail, fail. I see Mary as a whole new holy after experiencing motherhood myself.
Then there’s Joseph. I know dads always say it’s hard to go back to work, and I’m sure it is in some respects, but I also sensed a bit of relief when it was Cody’s time to go back. In fact, a couple days before, he’d go into the office to “take care of some things” but I am sure he didn’t have to. He just needed a breather. And I don’t blame him. Heidi was overwhelming, and since I was nursing her, there wasn’t much Cody could do besides go through the Starbucks drive-through for mommy at 6am. It’s not like Joseph had a man cave or a tool shed or a car to take a ride in. Maybe he went for a gallop on his horse…or did they even have horses? Maybe a donkey. Anyways, he was stuck in that stable unless he got his rear back to work or found something useful to do.
And of course, the three kings are always a part of the story. The bible says they saw the star and followed it to worship the Savior of the world. Were they surprised…shocked…confused to see a screaming, pooping, red-faced little baby instead of a king? They presented the baby their gifts…frankincense, gold, and myrrh…and promptly left. Partly because they had to get back, but maybe also partly because it’s just annoying to be around someone else’s baby who won’t stop crying. Let’s admit it, people. It’s true.
I could be totally off base. Maybe Jesus was just one of those babies who just never cries. And maybe things were easy for Joseph and Mary because they knew it was JESUS they were taking care of. But I think the case for Him being a bit of a fussbucket is pretty strong, especially if he experienced the typical human life. That makes Him seem a little more down to earth. For me, anyways.
“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.
12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”