Stealing Jesus

I think the title of this post inherently implies that there is a hot rock in hell with my name on it.  It’ll be a nice little place for me to sit, actually.  However, it’s not as bad as it sounds.  This isn’t a religious post AT ALL.  So feel safe in reading further.
My parents should have known they were in BIG trouble when I was a teenager and I stole the plastic Baby Jesus from the Manger scene at our little country church.  Once more, it was NOT a religious statement at all.  It was more of an aesthetics thing.  I was trying to take a stand and make the world a better place by removing the gaudy faded plastic rendition of Baby Jesus that had graced the sanctuary for at least 25 years.
That Baby Jesus had been through a lot.  I’m pretty sure He had been on the lawn in an outdoor Manger scene, and I know He had been through several reenactments of the Christmas story.  The scenery always changed, but one thing remained the same—that little statue was old and faded and gaudy and needed to be dealt with.  (At least in my teenage mind.)
I was out to beautify the world.  I was going to right the wrongs of the universe, and as a teenager, it seemed pretty logical to me to remove the eyesore that had plagued the vestibule for so many Christmases.
Do you know what 85-year-old women do when they discover that their plastic Baby Jesus is missing?  Suffice it to say that if America’s Most Wanted had been around and in full swing, you might have seen my mug on TV.  It was serious.  So serious in fact that I had to eventually sneak the plastic deity back into the church for fear that the elderly members might soon begin suffering strokes or minor heart attacks.
What I’m trying to say here is, do your thing to beautify the world.  But you don’t need to go and steal Jesus to do that.   (See, I’ve grown a little since those teenage days.)
Do your thing.  Follow your dream.  Write a book.  Build your fort.  Make your art.  Encourage your kids.  Make this place awesome.

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