Programs By Marsha Steed
Behold, I am John ~ Wise Men Still Seek Him ~ Believing Christ
Come and See
Maggie mused as she looked over the Martha Stewart 'Christmas decorating for your home'.. magazine. She turned yet one more colorful page of delectable treats and handmade decorations that she could 'whip up in less than a day'. With an abject look towards the kitchen, she stood to punch down the bread rising in her grandmother's bowl.
As the family gathered for the nightly hot meal, she looked to Dan to pray as he always did. The kids, Jenna - 16, Michael 13, and Samuel at five took their usual places. After the customary rumblings of who did what to whom, the family settled for prayer.
Her husband's voice droned on as she contemplated that last statement. Nourish? Strengthen? For what? Somehow even the meals that she prepared with such care failed to still that gentle nudging hunger inside of her. It remained despite her best efforts to fill her life, and that of her family with activities and material goods and experiences that were labeled to bring everything that one's heart could conceive of. Still... where was the nourishment?
( Home Can Be a Heaven on Earth pg. 293 vs. 3 )
Gratitude indeed, she thought. Grateful that the kids seem to fight more than breathe, that the bills are higher than the weeds in the yard, and that no matter what she does to attempt to wade through the mounds of laundry, she finds that it multiplies at night like breeding rabbits.
( Come, ye Thankful People mpg 94 )
"... help us to observe the season, and to remember the miracle of the Savior's birth. . . "
Wait, this was new, this wasn't part of his everyday spiel. What did he say? Maggie found herself wanting to press rewind, thinking she missed something important somehow. Miracle was that it? Her husband, the lawyer... used a word like miracle? She found it difficult not to open one eye to peek and see if he had somehow been possessed by an alien life form. Miracle hum?
( Once in Royal David's City mpg 205 )
The music from outside flowed into her thoughts as her husband was heard to speak the 'Amen's... and the family's usual chorus chimed in. She opened her eyes slowly this time, the mundane everydayness having sharpened as she looked around herself. Sounds of 'Gimme the gravy, and 'how come we always have this' and '. . .I couldn't believe he was asking me to do that again, after yesterday... ' tumbled and vied for position in her attention.
Maggie looked like a deer in the headlights at her family. She knew that even after the meal, she would still have that abject hunger that gnawed on her constantly. To outside eyes, it would appear as if she had the world. A lovely home, not elaborate, but certainly more than her base needs, and far better than her mother ever had. Kids that were not angels certainly, but weren't in jail either . . . yet . . .she mused as she looked at her middle child. Everything, though seemingly in 'order' lacked the fulfillment of that word Dan had mentioned, what was it again... oh yes, of course... Miracle.
What happened to the miracles in her life? Did she even still believe they existed? The mundane seemed all around her. The family going through the motions of doing all they were 'told' would bring joy... and yet finding a joyless existence devoid of all that should have brought them the most rewards. What was it all for anyway? What would alleviate this hunger that never seemed to be satiated... where could she find that nourishment, that they prayed for thoughtlessly day after day?
Carol of the Bells ( CD )
The door was opening to the standing carolers. Little boys and girls all dressed warmly in what appeared to be old time shepherd clothing. She smiled at them, adorable little things with proud parents standing behind. Maggie was about to offer them hot cocoa and to shoo them along to the next house with a smile, when one little child reached out for her hand.
"Come. Come and See!"
He looked so excited, so pleased to be sharing something that his eyes actually shown. She began to shake her head, and looked back for support from her husband, but found him actually smiling and encouraging her along.
"Go on Mags... I'll hold down the fort." Danny smiled at her and motioned with a press of his hands in a 'scoot along' gesture.
( Come and See - Jeanne Coen )
Maggie turned and shrugged, taking the boy's mittened hand in her own. He pulled her from the warm house, so quickly that she barely had time to grab the coat her oldest shoved into her hand. She found that Sammy caught up with her, slipping his little fingers into her own laughing.
"Where we going mom?"
"I don't know Sammy. They said to Come and See."
"Do you think we'll find a miracle?" She looked at him rather oddly, there it was again, that word... Miracle. His little face shown, and she began to believe that perhaps it was possible to find them... once again, miracles in her life.
( Good King Wenceslas )
The group walked with others in coats who seemed to be as lost and giddy with anticipation as she. She chatted with a neighbor woman who she had seen all year and meant to greet, but never really found the time for.
Suddenly the group stops. In front of them... is all that the little boy was so proud to show. There... in the cold lean two of a vacant lot, is a charming assemblage. A little girl with tinsel tossed over her forehead. A boy with a large stick that must indicate a staff. Three children on their knees, baying and mooing with all they are worth, and amidst them all... wrapped up like a snowbunny, someone's prize possession... a cabbage patch doll with one eye missing, and the tufts of hair, obviously a victim of a session of playing 'barber'. The sweetness of it all wrapped around her as it did the others. The magic returned in an instant... as she wondered at the miracle that seven little children could wrought on a woman's heart. She lifted Sammy up in her arms, and as the adults began to sing, the miracle occurred. She found that hunger, when it is fed what it truly needs... is satiated. The hunger of the soul asks not for food, for things or for others to feed it. It urges us forward to sup at the table of the only one who truly has power to fulfill.
( I Was Not There - Chantaclair Rose )
I Was Not There
I did not walk...
I do not know
I have not seen
But the way is clear
I know that
I know his feet
I may not see
I'll follow him
The paths he walked
FINIS - Marsha Steed 11/ 97
The shepherd boy took my hand
Come and see the hills where the star first shone
The angel said unto them
Come and see the place where the Christ child is born
Three wise men came to Jerusalem
Come and see the place where the Christ child is born
Come and see the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes
Jeanne Coen 11/ 96
Regimented family... normal and trapped, predictable -- Family dinner - Hit parents... Father give the 'canned' prayer .Husband who doesn't understand...Epiphany... realization given by the shepherd boy... the sense of wonder comes back... Carol of the Bells looking over a first snowscape... A woman, realizes that through the frustrations of the predictableness... it lacks sustenance. We should question so that it brings us to a place where we have a foundation. ARe we locked in these roles so that we loose the wonderment? Don't worry that we can be lost in questioning... but regain that sense of wonderment of seeking and searching... Come and See...
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