Yesterday, there was Something Big a brewin' in our county. I was fairly certain that there would be news vans aplenty at the courthouse all afternoon, so after I finished my lunch I headed there under the guise of "picking up some documents."
Actually, I really did have to pick something up at the courthouse and the fact that news cameras would be there was just a bonus. And a reason to apply my best lip gloss and practice my network TV smile. In an effort to make a cameo on the nightly news report, I took the long way around the building, IN THE RAIN, ensuring that I passed each and every news truck.
I am sorry to report that my vanity and I did not make the evening news.
Anywho, now on to the main point of this post. And this next part is free from humor or sarcasm or clever puns. I know. THERE'S A FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING!!
So, getting to the courthouse requires driving through a fairly bad neighborhood. The streets are crowded and narrow and lined with cars and old, run down row homes. The residents are poor and drugs and violence are not uncommon.
While I was stopped at a red light in this neighborhood yesterday, I looked over and saw an old woman standing in the rain, setting up a nativity scene in her tiny front yard. The figures looked like they were wooden, and the whole crew was there. Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, even a cow and some sheep.
As I sat at that light, I thought about how that woman, who likely has so little in the way of money or possessions, wanted to make sure that her tiny patch of grass between her front porch and the street was filled with a nativity scene this Christmas season. There I was, sitting in my warm, dry car in my nice clothes, focusing completely on applying my lip gloss perfectly in the hopes of "running into" a news reporter, and there she was, standing in the cold rain making sure that the manger was front and center and boldly displaying her faith in a place where it might not be so well accepted.
I began to think some Deep Contemplative Thoughts.
I wish I could say that the moment continued to be one of reflection. However, just before the light turned green, I watched the woman pick up a large mallet type object and proceed to whack every member of the holy bunch on the head.
And with great force.
I am assuming that since the figures were wooden, they had some sort of stake on the bottom so they could be secured into the ground. And it appeared that this woman wanted to be sure that those stakes were in there as far as they could possibly go. I don't know if she was trying to protect them from tipping over or being stolen or perhaps being swept up in an uncharacteristically forceful gust of wind.
Whatever the reason for the mallet, I laughed out loud right there in my car as I watched this woman make her way around the nativity scene, whacking all of the attendees on the noggin. It was a sight I never expected to see.
The bottom line is that if a nativity scene catches your attention this holiday season, pay particularly close attention to the facial expressions. If the shepherds look disgruntled, you will know why. :-)