When my daughter was small she got the dubious part of the Bethlehem star in a Christmas play. After her first rehearsal she burst through the door with her costume, a five-pointed star lined in shiny gold tinsel designed to drape over her like a sandwich board.

“What exactly will you be doing in the play?” I asked her.

“I just stand there and shine,” she told me.

Source | Sue Monk Kidd, When The Heart Waits: Spiritual Direction for Life’s Sacred Questions
(HarperOne 2006) page 61 


  • The little girl gets it.  At some point, from Star of Bethlehem to adulthood, we obstruct that light.
  • What is stopping you from just standing there and shine? I started my own list of possible obstructors : fear, perfectionism, prejudice, comparisons, lack of healthy self-esteem, distractions, worry, anxiety …


Little Alice was captivated with the stories of Jesus, especially the eventual death of Jesus on the cross.  And she was overjoyed when she was chosen to be an angel in the school nativity play.  She learned her lines to perfection.

However, little Alice was known to add her own logic to every situation.  So the nativity play was well under way and when it was Alice’s turn to say her lines to Mary, she said: “Don’ t worry, Mary, you will have a lovely baby and you will call him Jesus.”  Then she added, “But I wouldn’t get too attached to him because he’ll be gone by Easter.”

Source | Unknown


As one year ends and another one starts, let’s ponder all the joyful and sorrowful mysteries of our own lives.  And in doing so prayerfully and playfully …  pondering … reflecting … reviewing and perhaps even reframing our lived realities, let’s not get too attached to any of the past chapter of our ever unfolding, unique, sacred biography.  All past chapters are only stepping stones that gently move us forward with courage and wisdom, hope and wild imagination into the new year.



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?