Sunday, December 24, 2017


Sunday Reflection: The Tired Joseph, the Brilliant Moment

Today I have a piece in the Waco Tribune-Herald about Joseph and Christmas and brilliant moments. It begins like this:

In the old Nativity scene at my parents’ home, one of the very realistic aspects is written on the face of Joseph: He looks tired. He should. It had been a pretty rotten week for him until a brilliant moment arrived.

Above is a picture of that Joseph. He lost part of his nose, too, perhaps when my sister would put on her angel costume and move him around like an action figure as she played with the creche.

Later in the piece, I describe something else:

One busy Saturday in the H-E-B grocery store on Wooded Acres I pushed through an aisle looking for pasta sauce. Coming toward me was a woman in her 60s, tall and elegant. As she approached, she slowed and looked at another woman, this one in her 40s, who was eying a bottle of Bertolli Five Cheese. An inveterate eavesdropper, I faked an interest in lasagna noodles and loitered.

As the older woman came close, she made eye contact with the younger one, straightened to her full height and said sharply, “Third position!”
The younger one flushed a little, stood bolt upright and moved her feet quickly, one in front of the other and facing opposite directions. As she did so, her hands went out to her sides and her fingers melded together like lithe spoons. She held that pose for a moment.

Then they both laughed. The older woman reached out and touched the younger one on the shoulder and moved past, no longer a 24-year-old ballet teacher instructing an eager 6-year-old girl. I don’t know what came before and after that moment for either of them, but it was a brilliant moment, full of life and deep connection. It was a little like Christmas.

How do they connect? To find out, check out the whole piece (you can do that here). And have a wonderful Christmas Eve!!!

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