This week, three camels came in my next-door neighbor’s house.
Well, it was actually their yard, not their house.
My neighbors also happen to be Hannah’s Hostel for girls at risk. Girls whose parents can’t afford to care for them anymore, who are orphaned, or who need to live in the city so they can go to school because there isn’t one near them.
The camels may also have been these sweet girls covered in sheets, blankets, and cardboard humps.
This past Wednesday, the Hostel put on their Christmas program where girls from 4 to 18 dressed up as Kings, Shepherds, Angels, and- yes- Camels to perform, in a script they wrote themselves, a play about the birth of Christ.
An opening dance by the Angel Choir set the scene.
This version of the nativity focused on the shepherds, as you can see by the beautiful backdrop the girls painted themselves. Make note of the precious sheep on the stage.
After several scenes and musical numbers, my friend sitting next to me said, “Oh this is the last scene. It’s the best.” When I asked curiously if she had already seen it, she replied, “Well, no- but the last scene is almost always the same. It’s always the best.” As the Urdu version of We Three Kings struck up, three girls (complete with marker moustaches) came down the aisle leading their camels.
My friend nudged me and said, “Do you see it? Look up!” I looked to see a star- one of those fantastic, giant, colorful, 3-D stars, all lit up. I looked at it again and realized it was MOVING with the Kings above their heads down the aisle on some sort of a pulley system. They were literally “following the star.”
As with most of my semi-insightful moments of inspiration, this one was short and simple. Look up. We spend so much time looking out, down, ahead, and around this time of year. We look at presents, at the line to the cash register, for a parking spot at Walmart, for new recipes, at Christmas sweaters with bells and felt snowflakes. But, we rarely do we look up.
Yet, this is what most of the Christmas characters we love were asked to do. The shepherds looked up to see the angel and the heavenly host. The Magi looked up to follow the star. Mary and Joseph looked up to hear the angel tell them about their new life. We look up to remind ourselves of our purpose, of our future, of our goals, of our Creator, and of God’s plan for our lives.
We look up to see that beautiful star. May we follow it. May God put our hearts on some sort of a pulley system and draw each of us closer to the Baby this Christmas.