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The Memory of Righteousness Will Be a Blessing

By Helen Holder

Proverbs 10:7 The memory of the righteous will be a blessing,…

Recently a friend of mine called to make an appointment to see my nativity collection. He added that he had an old nativity set he wanted to bring to me. If I wanted to throw it out the minute he left the house, that was OK. He just couldn’t bear to throw it away himself, too many childhood memories attached.  He came in the door with an old wooden box filled with paper bags and newspaper wrappings that he had not opened for years. He talked about how the pieces of the nativity—the family, the shepherds, the kings, the sheep—were always put out under the Christmas tree when he was a child. Listening to him describe the set, here is the vision: lovely with love, colored with tradition, beautiful with meaning, rich with years of Christmases. Of course it would be hard to throw out! What was really in the box? dusty, unmatched pieces of various ages, various sizes; made of plastic, ceramic, papier maché, metal; made in Germany, Italy, Japan; a broken manger, a headless donkey (I glued it back together), a moldy stable. Isn’t it amazing how meaningful childhood memories can retain beauty? They aren’t broken, mismatched, missing pieces or rotting. Experiences worth remembering will always involve the people and the love they shared. Bill’s nativity set will always be beautiful in his mind because it was shared with people he loved. If he had unwrapped it before he brought it to me, maybe he could have thrown it out. Some of the beauty of the memories would have been wiped out by the reality of age and decay.

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