1/3/11

A 5 year-old's theology of Christmas


(H/T to TH for sending along this short piece by John Shea)

She was five,
sure of the facts,
and recited them
with slow solemnity
convinced every word
was revelation.
She said
they were so poor
they had only peanut butter and jelly
sandwiches to eat
and they went a long way from home
without getting lost. The lady rode
a donkey, the man walked, and the baby
was inside the lady.
They had to stay in a stable
with an ox and an ass (hee-hee)
but the Three Rich Men found them
because a star lited the roof
Shepherds came and you could
pet the sheep but not feed them.
Then the baby was borned.
And do you know who he was?
Her quarter eyes inflated
to silver dollars.
The baby was God.

And she jumped in the air
whirled round, dove into the sofa
and buried her head under the cushion
which is the only proper response
to the Good News of the Incarnation.

- John Shea, The Hour of the Unexpected

 
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3 comments:

Shannon said...

Oh what a grand telling of the Great Story!

I once asked a group of children at the Christmas Eve liturgy, "Why did Mary put Jesus in the manger?" One bright four-year-old said, "So she wouldn't squish him!"

Exactly.

Philomena Ewing said...

Beautiful ! Now you've got me thinking of some stories!! A child was drawing a picture of the Nativity. The picture was very good, including Mary, Joseph and, of course, baby Jesus. However, there was also a fat man standing in the corner of the stable.
When the child was asked who he was, she replied, "Oh, That's Round John Virgin."
Blessings

Linda Reid said...

"And she jumped in the air
whirled round, dove into the sofa
and buried her head under the cushion
which is the only proper response
to the Good News of the Incarnation"

Thank you for posting this, Fr. Austen. It made me weep.
I have an autistic grandson who loves to go to church (the rituals and all....) each year when he sees the Advent wreath or the creche in church, he jumps and flaps and excitedly tells me that it is Advent or Christmas and what we are going to sing! It began when he was 5 and he is now 13 and it still happens. (He has the same reaction for the Triduum/Easter)
Sometimes I wonder if autism is an affliction or an advance.