For certain, the Baby we celebrate at Christmas had a humble beginning. And yet, that Jewish baby grew into a remarkable teacher who encouraged, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” In that spirit, we “adopted” an Afghanistan refugee family who recently arrived in Austin.
Our four Austin grandchildren loaded gifts into the car and headed north to meet the family we had been assigned. Each of the grandchildren carried gifts into a very small apartment where we found a twelve-year old brother, three little sisters, and a sick baby lying on the floor. The family seemed genuinely appreciative. Their needs felt painfully obvious. Getting back into our car, Catherine said, “We got a chance to do a good thing today.”
Oh dear! What to do? As new comers in this neighborhood, we want to fit in, be in sync with those who live so closely around us. Unfortunately, my husband, Chris claims that our backyard Christmas decoration, which I designed and he painfully executed, looks like Aliens laid large eggs in one of our trees. Not quite what I had intended. I do not believe this generates syncing with those around us.
By chance, have we accidently invited beings from outer space to come for a visit? Have we created a gang symbol? If so, what will be expected as our initiation into the group? On the other hand, maybe our creative work will be recognized as a symbol for world peace — maybe intergalactic peace. Regardless of interpretation, our decoration does not seem “Christmasy”. Wise men will not be tempted to arrive with frankincense and myrrh.