Confession time. The only reason I’m doing this 34 years later is you are hampered by a broken neck, and I have a slight chance of out running you for once.
One of the reasons I am such a rule follower is I knew better than to tangle with you. Due to the Great-Hang-Up-Your-Towel-Young-Lady-Incident-of-1964, you got your point across. Nor, having my milk and cookies taken away in kindergarten, because Romy talked me into doing a big flairing ‘Amen’ to the God is Great prayer, I wasn’t to mess with God either. I behaved in high school, and hid in the bushes at a Senior Party because I knew, I knew, I knew you’d find out and the crime would not be worth the fall-out. I was the kid that always said, “But, we’ll get in trouble…”
To this day, I can’t remember whose idea it was, or even who all conspired in the plot. Weird, since I have an uncanny memory of bygone days, but can’t remember where my cell phone is at this moment. Maybe it was due to the blinding flood of adrenaline of the most scandalous and adventurous thing we could cook up in my sleepy hometown of 706 folk.
We took Jesus cruising.
You know the one out of the Methodist Church nativity scene? The really, really white one with the brown plastic curl on the top of his head? But, we had good reason!
“He looked cold and bored,” and “Mary probably needs a break,” we rationalized. Yes, we were ultra creative to be the first ones attempting this and sure no law against Jesus nappingon the books, still, in Protection, Kansas, this was destined to be a capital offense.
But, we were not the best criminals, for we could not keep Him to ourselves. Oh no! Someone found a flashlight, and as we dragged Broadway, He glowed his light that whole mile down and back to oncoming motorists.
And, Dad, it was worth it!
Yes, I know our motives were not pure, but I assure you we were reverent. How could we not be? We were riding up close and personal with the Holy—even in plastic form. Yes, there was something special that noordinary doll could replicate. We cradled and rocked him, afterwards tenderly laying Him back in the manger. Make no mistake; it was a defining event.
And we never did it again.
(Rest assured, being a student of your parenting, if I had caught wind that my little pagans had done something like this, I would have scobbed their knobs, too! Can you imagine the buzz of coffee crowd at Don’s Café, if we’d gotten caught?)
Yep, that’s it. I hope that new pacemaker handled the shock okay—maybe more so that I truly was a pretty good kid, if this is a big confession for me.
What amazes me about that crazy caper is God used it to do a little parenting of his own. He taught me that my purpose is not to keep Jesus in the manger. He doesn’t belong there anymore. Can you find a bible story where he scrunched back in it? Me, either.
Through the years, unexpected reactions concerning Jesus have consistently landed in my lap, whether through truth I’ve shared on radio, in the everyday, and even on some of these blogposts. And every day, opposition heats up even more. Lately, I can’t believe the snarky comments because of my Star of David and the Cross necklace. Really.
But with each remark God tenderly opens a door for that person, even if it’s only a crack, so Christ’s light can burst through the angry darkness.
Dad, thanks for teaching me to be a rule-follower, but even more so, that Christ is worth the risk of getting into what the world sees as trouble, so someone else doesn’t miss out on this wonderful and eternal gift He freely gave.
To him, we were worth the cost.
Love ya, Dad~Kel
(My goodness, there are so many great verses I could use with this post. Here is one of a whole Bible full!)
Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Cor 15:58.