By Chad Hershberger
This is the second in a series of writings about Christmas characters and their likely camp jobs.
When last I wrote, I explored what camp job Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father, might excel at. Today, I will continue our look at the qualities of four main characters of the Christmas story and why they might make good camp staff members.
A woman from Nazareth sent in an application. She’s young and she has a small child. It’s an incredible story. The angel Gabriel comes and tells her she is going to have God’s child and that her barren relative, Elizabeth, is also pregnant. Even though it is unexpected news, she is a faithful servant of God and says that God can do anything, so it is what it is!
She had the baby after making a grueling trip to Bethlehem and had to give birth in a barn! He’s grown up a bit now and she’s looking for some summer work. So, she sent in an application to our office.
When I interviewed Mary, she told me the incredible story I just retold. She seems to have such a caring heart and a heart for ministry. He brought her son along and he seemed very well taken care of and was very content young boy. Mary told me that her husband, Joseph, also applied for camp work and they would like to live at camp together. I told them we have a small-group retreat building called Oak Cottage. I took her there and she thought that would be a great place to spend the summer. There was plenty of grass in the “Tick Field” for their donkeys to graze.
I checked out Mary’s references, and the three people I talked to had nothing but positive remarks about this applicant. Elizabeth told me that Mary is very faithful and when she visited her while pregnant, her son, John, leapt in her womb. Simeon had nice things to say about Mary and in fact told me that now that he met her son, his life has been fulfilled. A person in Mary’s village also told me that they are a very nice family and would always help when needed.
As I ponder what job might be good for Mary, I can see some strengths in her abilities in nurturing community. Her son is well taken care of, she seems to have a heart for people, and in talking with her, I know she feels community is important to build. With her faith background, she would be terrific in our intentional Christian community setting and has good interpersonal communication gifts.
After praying about it, I’ve decided we could use Mary as our nurse this summer. She will have to be certified in First Aid and CPR, and she’ll work alongside our other RNs this year, but she can nurture our campers and work with the groups to make sure the kids are taken care of.
Mary as our “Christmas Camp” nurse—what do you think?