A boy was asked by his grade school teachers if he wanted to play a part in the Christmas nativity play.

“Of course I do,” he said.

“Good,” the teacher told him. “You get to be Joseph.”

The boy was proud.  “What are my lines?” he asked.

“You don’t have any,” the teacher answered.

“But what do I do?” the boy asked.

“You just stand there,” the teacher said, “and make sure Mary doesn’t look bad.”

The boy did just that. Standing frozen throughout the entire play. After it was over, adults patted him on the head and told him, “You were such a marvellous Joseph.” And he was proud.

Source | Terry Hershey, Soul Gardening, pages 69-70


The boy grew up and wondered:

  • If I was such a marvellous Joseph, why did I never once talk to Mary?
  • If I was such a marvellous Joseph, why did l never once pick up the baby Jesus and sing him a song?
  • If I was such a marvellous Joseph, why did I never once offer coffee to the shepherds?

He was a marvellous Joseph only because he did what everyone said he should do. He was marvellous because he was frozen! A frozen Joseph. And your insides grind to a halt, wound tight and immobile.

Are you frozen? Or are you open, flexible, soft and flexible, always ready to respond freely, spontaneously, and creatively?