My family is an eclectic mix of Catholics, Protestants, agnostics, and skeptics. Most of the time we muddle along just fine, but on occasion things get a little jumbled.
I wasn’t present when this incident occurred, so let’s just say it’s a mix of fact and fiction. Much like the story itself. I’ll let each reader decide what is fact and what is fiction.
Three generations of the family gathered for a Christmas celebration a few years ago, from my parents to pre-schoolers. A conversation ensued between two of my nieces. I’ll just call them Teen Niece and Child Niece.
Child Niece asked about a statue of Jesus, “Who is that?”
“Jesus,” Teen Niece replied.
“Why does he have a cape on?” Child asked, not recognizing the clothing styles of the Middle East in Roman Empire times.
“Because he’s Super-Jesus,” said Teen. I do admire her quick thinking.
“Does he have super powers?” asked Child.
“What are his super powers?” Child had the persistence of most pre-schoolers.
“He does miracles.” Teen Niece wasn’t in a branch of the family that attended church regularly, but she knew that much.
“He heals people.” Teen stuck with orthodoxy.
“Does he fly like Superman?” asked Child.
“Of course. “ Teen Niece took the statue and demonstrated Jesus flying. “And he fights Buzz Lightyear.” She picked up a Buzz action figure and mashed Buzz and Super-Jesus together in a mock battle.
This conversation took place about a year after my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Mother got confused easily, but still followed and participated in conversations. “That’s not the story I’ve heard,” Mother said to Teen. “Are you sure?”
Well, in a season when a baby is born to a virgin, when shepherds hear angels sing, and when wise men follow a star, who’s to say? Super powers come in all shapes and sizes, and Christmas is a time of mystery to believers and non-believers alike.
Joy to the world!