I am not a collector of anything particular. I can see my beloved reading this and simultaneously snorting and rolling his eyes but it’s true.
Growing up my mother collected salt and pepper shakers. I think at one point she had at least close to a hundred sets. Pretty sure I was a little sad when she stopped and got rid of them. Her mother, my Grannie Ree, collected owls of all sorts and sizes.
I may have stuff but I don’t collect anything specific. And, truth be told, I have gotten better over the years with not really collecting random stuff. Right, Mr. Hadding? (There really ought to be an affirmative comment here because it has taken work to get to this point 😉 )
A few years ago I came across the Willow Tree figurines and just fell in love with them. The natural color palette and simplicity of design appealed to me but as I was working on my packrat tendencies I haven’t ever purchased any or asked for them. Okay, to be truthful I am pretty sure I dropped a couple of hints here and there halfheartedly but my love does a wee bit better if I am more direct in my requests. I was not certain I wanted them enough to do more than give vague “oh, look how pretty this is!” comments though. Part of that is also because I love surprises and I don’t want to request something and then actually get it because where is the fun in that? (Don’t worry. I don’t hold it against him for not reading my mind or remembering every little “oooh” and “ah” I make over something. The failing here is totally mine and I cop to it. And also, I don’t lack for anything. I’m pretty spoiled.)
But I digress.*
So here is the great confession. I know you probably thought all of that up there was a confession but that was just me rambling. Such is the nature of my blogging but back to the great confession.
I don’t have a nativity set. I had one about twenty-five years ago that was all white and had gold trim that belonged to my mother but it went missing I don’t know when and I never found anything I liked enough to replace it. Except last year my sister gave me a really lovely all in one figurine that is quite pretty. But I have still wanted a regular, multiple piece creche to put out. And this year I decided to get the Willow Tree set.
Y’all it came in this morning and it is so pretty! I knew I wanted to use it for the December Photo Project and I fussed around with setting it up and taking the picture. It just looks peaceful to me. Like that one holy moment of silence as if the whole world holds it’s breathe in awe the way every mama everywhere who has given birth remembers it doing as she held her newborn.
Only this newborn was God incarnate. The Holy One who put on flesh and stepped into time and humanity. Legions of angels sang of His birth, farm animals neighed, mooed, and brayed. I still cannot help but think at some point Mary held that precious little wrinkly babe who probably squawked and cried as he nudged and rooted around looking for milk and comfort that the world faded away and the noise dimmed as she put him to her breast.
Sweet goodness, what a moment that must have been!
Next year I would like to get more pieces. I figure since the wise men really didn’t make their way to Jesus until he was a toddler it’s okay for me to wait to add them to my little scene. For now, amidst all the colorful decorations and pretty sparkly lights, there is this one spot in the house that will make me pause, to ponder how, in the way that only God’s economy can, the simple completely and accurately reflects the magnitude of what God has indeed done.
God with us.
*Shout out to my friend Lauren 🙂