Thursday, December 26, 2013

Be near me, Lord. A monologue of Mary

"Be near me, Lord"

Monologue, Mary, talking to baby Jesus, after the Shepherds have left
By Becky Emerick

SCENE: Mary, in the manger, rocking baby Jesus to sleep.

(rocking) Rest, Lord Jesus, little Jesus, my Jesus. Rest. I’ll keep you warm. (Shivers, tucks feet beneath her.

In here, we’re protected from the cool night air. (Sees Joseph, smiles) Joseph. Look how he sleeps. (To Jesus) Your daddy, in a way I don’t even understand. The cold ground doesn’t seem to be affecting his rest. Oh but he must be so tired. What a night… after such a long journey.

But I can’t sleep, my little Jesus. My heart is so full. What a strong grasp you have, holding my little finger. You are going to be strong! 

(Thinking) Strong. Of course you’ll be strong. Even though the angels told me, and the shepherds confirmed it, and even Elizabeth knew it to be true – looking at you, here, I wonder: how can our all-powerful God be contained in the body of one so small. So cute. So perfect.

(holds Him close). Oh, Jesus, I’d love to stay here, in this moment. It’s not comfortable, it’s not royal, but it’s peaceful. It’s quiet. (closes eyes). There’s comfort, and holding you, my soul is still. (looks at Him.) Right here, next to my heart. 

(Looks up) Lord, I know you’ve been with me all along, but this – this miracle – I know it can’t last. (back to baby) I know I won’t always be able to hold you. Rock you. Protect you. I can’t keep your peace to myself. I can’t stay here in the solitude of the barn.

(Looks up) So Lord, please stay near me. Through whatever is ahead. The glorious and the gruesome. Be near me, Lord, like you’re near me now. 

(Quiets baby) Shhhhh. (Rocking, quietly) Like you’re near me now.

(End Scene)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

When I'm caught chewing toilet paper rolls

I had a moment of weakness and we adopted a puppy.  He looked at me with his big, dark eyes and said, "Becky, you need me."

And though I could lament the shredded toilet paper rolls, mangled book corners, and digested pencils, I won't. At least not in this post.

Because today Ozzy taught me something.

I've been feeling down lately, for no real apparent reason. I tried to counsel myself, but I just talked in circles. And while my mind wandered during my little guy's reading lesson about my woes, along came Ozzy, chewing something. Again. It was another pencil.

Taking away the pencil, I replaced it with a bacon filled rawhide stick. He nibbled awhile, and I went back to our school work, only to hear the chewing again. "Ozzy, drop it," I said immediately, not even knowing what it was.

A plastic Lego.

(I told my friend who adopted Ozzy's brother that these dogs are a good way to clean out the toys before Christmas.)

I took the toy away from him and replaced it with not just one, but a dozen of his toys, explaining, "You have all of these toys to play with! You are in a playground of toys, and yet you always want what you can't have."

Eventually, when the up and down of fetch and replace grew tedious, especially after he's strewn toilet paper through the kitchen, he ended up in his crate, because let's face it - I do have to teach my children something.

And I see him sitting there, in his crate, wishing he were snuggled next to me on the couch. (Shhh, don't tell my husband I let him on the couch.) But he can't because he's not content with what he has.

And as I re-opened the reading lesson book with my 4 year old for the umpteenth time, it hit me.

I am surrounded by toys, but I'm always distracted by the out-of-bounds toilet paper rolls that are out there.

And sometimes, if it's bad enough, it feels like I'm in a cage, built by my own ingratitude and insecurities.

I don't want to be in a cage. I want to be content. I want to be free. I want to be full of love and selflessness and sincere compassion.

I want to be free of others opinions. Free of needing to be perfect. Free of... you know, all that stuff that weighs us down! The sin that so easily entangles.

So I eventually let Ozzy out. He gets a good petting and I offer him a toy. He understands for awhile, and he's content.

Until he's not.

And isn't that just the way it is with us.