It’s Just a Doll

For years, I have used the same doll as my baby Jesus in my story telling. He’s just a doll, certainly, but I feel my love for Jesus deeply, every time I look at him. When I put him out in the cold and rain and snow in our front yard Nativity scene, I feel a tug at my heart. I wrap him in my sister’s cozy blanket given to me for that purpose.  Jesus’ words march through my mind, “ Whatsoever you have done for the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me.”

Last week, it rained several nights in a row. I kept thinking about baby Jesus, wrapped in his now soaked, frozen blanket. On the third night, my loving Tom heard my concern. He shrugged into his coat,  went out and retrieved baby Jesus from his nest in the straw. We unwrapped him. To our surprise, he was sort of warm and dry, even wrapped in his wet and frozen blanket.

I was grateful. Tom could have said, “Are you crazy? You’re worrying about a rubber doll.” Instead, he put Jesus’ blanket into the dryer and hugged me. Why did I feel that way?

For me that doll represents people, real human people within whom Jesus lives. When I held him that night, I remembered all the people who are isolated, ignored, damaged by violence, considered less than human, just a … You can fill in that blank. Who do you consider to be not worthy of good care and love? As a child, were you taught to look down on people who are different from you? Do we not declare them a little or a lot less than human.?

Little children still see people who are different as “just people”. Curiosity may lead them to ask questions like: “Why is that person so tall? Why does he have a chair with wheels?” If we hush the little ones, out of fear of embarrassment, we discourage  their interest in people with differences. We have learned these fears, these prejudices, often unconsciously, from parents, from friends, from others around us. We don’t have to hang onto those feelings and beliefs. Our Bible says that God created all people in God’s image. Jesus said, “I will be with you always.” We are all God’s beloved children. Even those we consider enemies were created by God to be God’s children. We are all in need of prayer, of love. Leave no one out in the rain and snow and cold of society’s rejection. We are all precious in God’s sight.

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