Nazareth Day Care

I am in the middle of a dream.
I am just a toddler.
My mother is taking me to day care.
As I enter the building I see Mary, the mother of Jesus, walking out.
I look up at her with questioning eyes.
Mary knows what I am wondering and answers
"Yes, He is in there".

I enter the day care full of excitement,
knowing that baby Jesus is there with me.
But when I look around the room
there are so many babies.
I notice one baby sitting alone in the corner.
He could be the baby Jesus,
so I go and play with him.
Then I see another baby crying.
He could be the baby Jesus
so I go comfort him.
At snack time I share my snack with the baby
who had his snack taken by a bully,
because I wouldn't want Jesus to go hungry.
When the bully threatens me, I smile
trying to tell him "Be happy, Jesus is here."

All day I am extra careful to be nice to each baby.
When there aren't enough toys,
I go without because I want to make sure Jesus has one.
When there is a line I wait and go last,
because I don't want to be ahead of Jesus.
When someone's sad I cry with them,
because maybe I'm crying with Jesus.
When someone's happy I laugh with them,
because maybe I'm laughing with Jesus.

Later Mary returns.
I looked nervously at her.
Did I fail ?
Did I ignore Jesus ?

She walked directly up to me.
She looked down and lovingly said
"Thank you for taking care of Jesus."

Which one was him?
Was he the one that was crying,
or the one alone,
or the one who had his snack stolen ?

She understands my questions and answers
"Yes, he was the one that was crying.
And he was the one that was alone,
and the one that had his snack stolen.
You also shared your toys with him,
let him in front of you in line,
cried with him
and laughed with him.
He was also the bully you smiled at and
tried to share God's love with.
You put each baby before yourself,
because you saw Jesus in each of them."

Take these lessons out into the world.
Cry with the ones who need someone to share their sorrow,
and laugh with the ones who need someone to share their joy.
Think of others first.
When there's a line, be last.
When there is only one left, go without.
Reach out to the one's who are alone or rejected.
Don't worry about what others will think.
It is only with a purely humble heart
that someone can be truly bold for Jesus.

"Now go,
Humble yourself before the face of Jesus
in everyone you meet,
because he loves you
and humbled himself for you
on the cross"
I wake up.

Now what ?

by Daniel Roth 1996


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