Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Away in a Manger...
I was in a Nativity Scene once...I was eight...I thought it was a pretty big deal. In fact, I felt special because my Sunday school teacher designated me as the 'Lead Angel'. This role carried a lot of responsibility as I was trusted to delicately place the bad Mattel doll understudy for Jesus into the hay laden manger. My moment to shine in front of an audience if you will.
We had to make our angel outfits and were given pretty loose guidelines...White cotton smock with a gold rope belt, and angel wings made of poster board....oh, and add gold tinsel to the outer edge of the wings for a really special, Christ-ly effect...
Well, it went without saying that I turned to my mother for help in this endeavor. We went to a sewing store and picked up the white fabric then proceeded to shop for craft supplies to make wings. Initially the project seemed easy enough. Poster board, Elmer's glue, gold tinsel...all set.
As was often the case in my house, six kids often took my mother in 50 directions at once and we found ourselves in the kitchen 2 hours before show time. My costume wasn't finished...In fact, the supplies were still in the shopping bag from the day of purchase. "This is a cinch," my mom said as she sketched out a wing on the poster board, "we'll just cut it out and staple it to your angel gown.." I wasn't convinced, but went along anyway. She proceeded to cut out two approximately 3 ft. angel wings from the poster board, glued on the tinsel and proceeded to assemble my outfit.
I remember thinking the wings seemed rather large, but since I was the lead angel, I should shine like Icarus before his big fall, right? It wasn't until I arrived at Church that I realized how 'roided up my wings looked. The other angels showed up with petite little wings that were worn with elastic around their shoulders (Elastic wing holders?...Genius!). Compared to my classmates, I wasn't the lead angel. I was Condor. The bird of death. Instead of holding Jesus, I felt as though I should be pecking at 5 day old bloated road kill...Regardless, I brushed off the size differential (a slight understatement) and walked on stage.
The moment came when I was given the cue to pick up the plastic, crayon laden faced Jesus and place him in the manger. As I walked over, my wingspan was so large that it hit the other angels standing on stage. As I bent to lay Jesus down, the weight of my wings caused the 4 staples my mother hurriedly attached to give way. And there I stood, wingless...in front of 200 chuckling audience members.
I was mortified. I remember getting mad at myself for not requesting smaller angel wings. Isn't it funny what embarrasses you when you're little? It must have pretty badly or I wouldn't be writing about it, right?