Growing up with a reflection of Christmas


The story of Christmas is captivating and beautiful. I never truly understood the significance of this day until I read the gospels as an adult. But looking back I can see that a reflection of Christ was around me during my younger years. As I build new memories with my wife and children I’m reminded of the traditions that made Christmas special. I cherish the time I spent with my cousins Fatima and Paula. If you find this picture of the nativity scene intriguing, let me tell you more about them.

My cousin Fatima is handicap. She was introduced to this world with forceps that caused permanent damage on her brain. She can’t talk and is limited in her physical abilities. Still, I remember carrying a conversation with her. Through her moans and noises she would make herself clear and was able to get a message across. Her younger sister Paula was always there, present and willing to help. Through the years Paula took a back seat for the greater needs of Fatima and served selflessly. The simple nativity scene built out of an egg container and construction paper is in the home they share and in which I spent many of my Christmas’ growing up.

The meaning of Christmas was right there in front of me through all the years I spent with Fatima and Paula. Through scripture we find out that life became broken when Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit. And God planned for deliverance to come in the form of a baby boy who would one day die on the cross for our sins. The reality is that we are all broken. We all have a handicap. Some are visible on the outside like Fatima. All of us have it on the inside.

I saw the reflection of Christmas in my cousin’s limitations. Mankind, limited by their sinful condition. I saw the reflection of Christmas as Paula and the whole family served selflessly. Christ, born in a manger, came to provide the ultimate sacrifice. This is good news to all as revealed in Luke 2:10-11…

“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you: he is Christ the Lord.”

I hope you have a Merry Christmas!

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