25th December AD 1
What am I doing here? What is going on? Why is this dry coarse stem kind of thing pricking me? It’s piercing through my body leaving rashes on my skin and itching me badly. Somebody there? Mom, Dad… can you hear? I am dead shivering with cold and some strange straw like thing is poking me. The greater the pain the lesser the impact of cold. My body is pressing against something uneven and hard, feeding trough, that’s what they call it. But isn’t it for the cattle? I am not cattle! I shouldn’t be here. There is some sort of misunderstanding. I need a flush of amber and mauve, and a toasty fireplace.
Oh My, these flies, they are getting into my nose, they are buzzing heavily into my ears not letting me sleep. Shoo away little flies, I am a newborn. Well, I can’t blame them. They have enough dead blood and cattle poop to feed on. And these stains of blood on me could be especially delicious. Can you see a battalion of them feasting on the stowed away delivery excrements, over there, in the corner?
From the look on my Dad’s face, it is very evident that it is his first experience. Do all parents and newborn on this planet go through such horrendous episodes? See, how shabby I and Mom look. Or is it that my parents are very poor. Well, I think they are. Or else why should he make my Mom in her full-term pregnancy, to walk all these miles. Forget about enough clothes for me, he couldn’t even find a safe place for my mother to give me birth. Where is my mother’s midwife? Or is it that she never had one? Was she taking care all by herself?
Holy heavens, why are we sealed with such ill-fate? Why are we tagged with the most unpleasant flukes and strenuous hardships? Why such a nasty birth?
But My mother truly amazes me – Her composure, her incredible ability to trust God; even now!! Despite being victimized for the unnatural pregnancy, denounced and mocked by society (luckily Joseph stood strong); delivering God’s baby in minimal privacy at the most unpleasant, unhygienic place in a stranger’s house, she calmly held on to the uncertainty God offered her with great trust. My greatest course on Trust.
Watch out! Who are they? They are as ragged as I am, stunk like I do, their feet covered in sheep turds, they haven’t washed in months and a bunch of sheep accompanying them. They all look so tired and messy. At last, I could see someone of my level and status.
My parents were discussing with them about offering a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons in the temple. This sacrifice is allowed only for those who are too poor to offer a young male sheep. Now I can confirm, I am born into a very poor family. My Dada is a poor carpenter in some place under the brutal rule of the Roman military. And my Mom; a fragile teenager.
S-n-i-f-f……. It’s frankincense and myrrh, they are soothing my super excited olfactory system. I see three well-dressed high-class people. I feel the wind of huge contrast separating us from them. Their visit was inevitable. Those sweethearts gave us the basics to survive.
While my teeny tiny figure was getting used to the cold, discomfort and stink; Joseph and Mary were getting weary and tired by my glorious coming into their lives in the middle of the messiest of situations and the uninvited visitors. All I wish for them is a sound slumber for the night.
28th December AD 1
Why this ruckus? What has happened to my otherwise benign and super cool parents? Another relocation? That too to Egypt? But I am just 4 days old and the winter is so petrifying. Above all, Mom just had a creepy delivery. Why should we flee?
Thus, we run away as refugees to Egypt which also happens to be a strange land for Mom and Dad. Egypt, not a country where Jews have an agreeable history. For us Egypt sounded misery, slavery and oppression. We are here to hide out as refugees until Herod dies. Thus, I figured out that a refugee camp is less depressing than the cattle shed.
5th December 2018
I came into this world in the middle of the messiest of situations because life is like that. We all have problems, struggles and tension. Our pals die, our family members struggle with depression, oppression, addictions and obsessions. We go broke, break loose, get away, hide out, shut doors, burst out, fall apart, play safe, wash up, cry our hearts out, wail hard, flare up, curse under our breaths and cut loose because we are humans. We lose jobs, spoil relationships, hate ourselves, get tied and feel tired cause Life is chaotic.
It’s that same muddle that I came, as a helpless, innocent baby. Into the same uncertainty and chaos; into the same insecurity and fear. Into the same struggle and tension. It was me becoming flesh, and incarnating in the middle of all political, social, economic and personal mayhem as the lowest of the low. Because I was lowest of the low.
And what kept me going was that blind faith and trust in Father Almighty. The faith that all these shall pass; the faith that all these are momentary; the faith that God is beyond all this; the faith that nothing in this world can kill my spirits and put out my inner fire; the faith in my birth and its purpose. Just like me you are unique; what you are made for, you alone can fulfill. If not you, no one can, none is made instead of you and will never be. We all forget to recognize how awesomely and intricately we are made. Each one of us, you and I are made with a unique purpose tagged against our names. While engraving us in HIS palms HE breathed it unto us. HE trusted us enough that HE crushed every mold after each creation. Maybe you have scientifically found out that each human born on this earth is 1 in 400 trillion+. But I alone know that you are exclusive, no one can ever replace you, in any way.
I remember my life with Mary and Joseph. We, as a family lived every moment of it. Irrespective of how people described our circumstances, for us it was all good. We could see a lot of light in everything which I myself couldn’t while I was born. We preferred giving to receiving, hugging to cursing and praising to undermining.
We took life as it came and moved on with hope and courage, cuddling each other, believing in miracles, being passionate and always keeping a bright smile. Well, that’s what Hope is. It is believing in something blindly; believing in something which can’t be seen with logic or eyes. Open your eyes of faith and you will never be in dark again.
I am happy to see a lot of positivity being sustained amongst you. Happy to see people loving oneself that help them effortlessly love their kin, Proud to see people taking care of themselves that help them to value others equally, Pleased to see people nurturing themselves that help them to naturally encourage their folks and Delighted to see people forgiving oneself that help them to forgive the world around them.
On this Christmas I call each of you to that innocence of being a child in spirits, to accept the vulnerability of life and to have that heavenly courage to express it freely to our owns. To put down our grits and lay down our resentments, to welcome miracle while embracing our fellow men because we all have, in some form or other, mess in our lives covered in blood and dirt. We all are suffocated and worried. We all wear that unwanted mask of ego, power and wealth. We all are born as precious but choose to live the life of a slave. I was a poor refugee baby; born to a teenage mother scoffed by her society; laid down in a rough manger in the middle of uncertainty. And if with hope, courage and faith I could make a miracle out of it, you very well can.
Wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!(Published on 10th December 2018, Volume XXX, Issue 50)