Sunday, December 5, 2010
These Three Kings
It was in the dressing table drawer that I found the nativity set. I wasn’t supposed to be looking in any drawers, but once I found the nativity set, I visited it often. It wasn’t fancy or expensive; it was chalk, probably from a dime store. However, it belonged to my great-grandmother, my grandfather’s mother, who could be a terror. I loved that Baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph.
Somehow over the years, I got that nativity set and set it out every year even though the facial features faded, arms chipped, and shepherds broke. One year my sister made me a ceramic nativity with numerous huge pieces. It was beautiful, but I always feared two rambunctious boys would break it in our small house. While I admired it, enjoyed it, my true love was the deteriorating chalk pieces.
Eventually, I had to throw the broken nativity set out. I found a small simple three piece set at a local shop. I put it out with a candle. Its simplicity seems to express the true meaning of the season. But each year, somewhere in the house I set out the three chalk kings that I saved. They are rough, but I don’t care. They might sit in the hutch, on an end table, or on a wall shelf, but they always look like I think the original Three Kings looked-weary and searching all over for this new Baby Jesus.