Why I Probably Won’t Fix Mary

Dec 24, 2015 by

013I bought this Nativity scene during my first Christmas season at Community Presbyterian Church, in 2013. My friend/cousin Cheryl helped me pick it out in the church book shop. She’d told me about the disabled woman who made them by hand from her tiny apartment in Uzbekistan. As a single mom who is technically classified as having a disability, I was all over that! I wanted to buy five of them just to support Yulduz and her family. Instead I bought one and blogged about her. It took a while for me to notice that Mary was missing her head covering; I was too enamored with the funky figures dressed in scraps of cloth, and accessorized with random beads, ribbon and sticks. When I did notice I decided I didn’t care. It seemed like an insult to hardworking Yulduz to fix what she’d done her best on. Maybe she ran out of cloth. Maybe she had so many Nativity sets to finish and send off that she forgot one headscarf and felt horrible about it later. Or perhaps she left it off for a reason, because she wanted each set to be unique. For some reason I wanted to leave the first Christmas decoration I’d purchased since starting my new life just as I’d found it, at least for that holiday season.

Last year, I planned to make Mary a head covering for Christmas, thinking she should probably be dressed appropriately. It didn’t happen. This year I told my mom, “We should cover Mary’s head so she doesn’t get in trouble.” Mom suggested using a piece of an old dish towel. As you can see, Mary still has a naked head.

At least she is displayed in a grace-filled home, I told myself today. That’s when I decided to leave Mary’s head alone.

It reminds me of Grace, and that we are all missing something that only Jesus can provide. It reminds me that we are all imperfect, but not all of our imperfections are flaws—that as we are saying, “Wait, someone should really fix that,” God is trying to show us, “I made her that way for a reason.” It’s a picture of why Jesus came in the first place—to free us.

“She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” – Matthew 1:21

As you prepare for Christmas, how is God reminding you of His grace?

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