“The Empty Manger Bed” (or “I Left Baby Jesus in the Piano Bench By Mistake”)

It’s January 2.  And I’ve already messed up the new year.  So much for starting afresh, with a clean slate, full of potential to be a better person in the new year.  Perhaps this will serve to make YOU feel better, though, and so maybe THAT’S my true purpose.  Some good may come from this, me serving as “how not to be.”  You see I was starting the process of “de-Christmas-ing” my house.  It has to happen in stages as the task has gotten bigger than life with each passing year.  The Dickens village went away on New Year’s Eve.  The Nutcrackers, this morning.  The tree. Oh, the tree is a two-day process in itself.  That starts tomorrow.  That one is a back-breaker.  So, I thought I’d tackle putting away the nativity set as that is fairly easy, though I do so hate to wrap up my three wise men and put them away.  They have become quite popular on Facebook for the past three years now.  I got out my box that says “Nativity People” (though there are many animals involved as well.  Animals are people to, you know.)  I can’t tell you the shock I felt when I looked down in the tiny manger bed and found . . . . . NO JESUS!!  What?!?  I always tuck Jesus into my piano bench each Advent and we anticipate His arrival every Christmas morn.  He can’t just show up sometime in December – everyone knows He was born on the eve of December 25! (I’m being facetious here as we don’t really know His actual birthdate.)  I always tuck Him tenderly into my piano bench until He’s due.  I think this may the first time I ever just plain forgot to take Jesus out of my bench and put Him in His manger bed.  I totally forgot about Jesus.  It was enough to stop me dead in my tracks and cause me to take a photo of my erroneous blunder.  Here, wanna see?

Where in the world is Jesus?
Where in the world is Jesus?

So after I thought to myself, “Way to go!  You call yourself a Christian?  What kind of Christian completely forgets to take the Lord & Savior out of that cold, dark piano bench?  Why’d you stick Him in there anyway?  Why didn’t you just leave Him with His Mom and Dad and all the other ‘Nativity People’ so He wouldn’t feel so lonely?  You probably should just count this year as a loss and hope to do better next year.  You only have 363 more days to be a Jesus-leaver.”  I’m afraid to go to sleep tonight because I’m scared I’m going to have bad dreams about being locked inside a giant piano bench and not be able to get out. It would serve me right . . . right?

Well, in an attempt to help me feel a little better about myself, I’ve come up with some excuses that I can report to God on Judgement Day when He asks how I could have possibly left His Son like I have.  The first being that I’m just really forgetful lately.  I could honestly stop there, but I don’t feel like I’ve redeemed myself quite yet.  So, I thought of all the piano lessons I had during the time Jesus was tucked inside that bench.  Silly as it sounds, I do say a quick prayer before each batch of kids starts for the day that I’ll be the music teacher they each need for that particular day.  Maybe having Jesus right there with us (He was situated right in the corner of the bench – positioned between me in my chair and the kid’s butt on the bench) helped me achieve that a little better.  You know what I have half a mind to do?  (OK, stop with the snarky comment you’re thinking right now about me having half a mind) – – just leave Jesus in the bench all year!  I still could!  I haven’t put away my Nativity Peeps yet!  (I was so distraught by my error earlier, I decided I needed a nap and would deal with it later.)  By George, that’s what I’m going to do!  Mary, Joseph, animals, extras . . . . you’re OK and everything,  but you’re going back in the box. Three kings?  Gosh – I love those guys.  I may wrap them up and put them away, but at the top, where I can get to them easily enough if I miss them.  Jesus?  I might just keep You in the piano bench this year.  I mean I know You’re with me anyway, I know I don’t need a little plastic representation there, but it’ll be fun to some day open that bench, looking for some Debussy . . . . and there’ll be Jesus!  This is how we “turn that frown upside down.”

There.  I’m feeling a little bit better about myself now.  I sure hope God accepts this explanation later. I’m open to any other suggestions you might have that you think He’ll more readily accept.  Please feel free to comment below.

Deo volente – – – Patti (aka Maga)