"Today is December 23rd, 2011. For some, it’s just another day; for others it’s a very special time, just two days before we celebrate the birth of Christ.
Celebrations are taking place all over the world, but I personally felt something like never before. This year, I played the part of Mary in the Mission’s Live Nativity scene. On my second night in the ‘stable’ I was sitting on a bale of hay, holding the baby Jesus and waving at passing cars. The sunset was leaving glorious hues of color across the sky, from dark blue, purple, light purple to a rose color. I had looked away just long enough to wave at a passing car, and when I looked back, the evening star was shining brightly against the brilliant colors! The bright star had not been visible before.
For a moment in time, I felt transported back to that first Christmas night as I stared in wonder at the appearance of the star. That must have been what it was like for the shepherds. Instead of being afraid or anxious about the star, perhaps they too felt an inner peace as I did. It was as if I was present at that very first Christmas, holding the baby Jesus.
Just as fast as the feeling came, it left, but the impact of that moment remained with me. The men who were participating in the Live Nativity with me were unaware of what had just taken place. One of them asked me if I was okay. Did I need anything? Was I warm enough? I said that I was fine. I had everything I needed and wanted right there in my arms.
Even though it was just a split-second happening, I will remember that feeling for the rest of my life… until my Father calls me home. If there ever is a chance for me to play Mary again, I will do so willingly, happily, and wholeheartedly."
(Lea Ann is a participant in our New Life Program)