Someone posted that question on Facebook a couple of days ago and it’s been rolling around in my head ever since.
My first reaction was that I’d be a sheep–oblivious to the whole thing, maybe a little disgruntled if the shepherds took the sheep with them when they went to see Baby Jesus. (It doesn’t say in the Bible, but I would think they left the sheep with the shepherds who didn’t want to go, or the ones with the least seniority.)
After I thought about it some more, I decided I probably would have been one of the Magi. I know, I know–the Magi weren’t there the night he was born, contrary to popular belief, and they were all male. But they all gave symbolic, practical gifts. I’m a giver and practical to a fault. The Magi seemed to be the right fit.
Then, this morning, I heard a sermon with the same theme. The truth of the matter is if I was in Bethlehem the night Jesus was born, I would be an overworked Jewish wife and mom, irritated with the crowds, ready for all of them to leave, mad at Caesar for the darned census that’s disturbing my peace. If, by chance, I had heard about a baby being born in a stable, I would either have been outraged that no one volunteered to give an expectant mother a better place to stay, or I would have judged Mary and Joseph and called them rednecks (or whatever the equivalent was then). After all, Joseph didn’t have to bring Mary. He could have left her with her family. She went with him because the baby had to be born in Bethlehem, but only they knew that.
It’s not a flattering conclusion, but it’s the most accurate. Some days, I’m clueless at best, especially under stress. Even on good days I have to actively look for details. I’m really good at big pictures, but details slide right past me. Sometimes I envision getting to Heaven and coming face to face with my creator, only to have Him burst out laughing, hug me, and say, “Bless your heart, child, you did your best, but sometimes you were so freaking clueless!” It wouldn’t surprise me too much, as many times as I’ve been on the receiving end of a clue-by-four!