Beware of “Walk Through Bethlehem”!

Yesterday. on the way to a Soles4Souls event, we passed a church getting ready for their “Walk Through Bethlehem” event. This brought back memories from our experience a few years ago at just such an event. Allan, Sondra and I decided to visit a church sponsored “Walk-Through Bethlehem”. This free event invited the public to stroll through a re-creation of Bethlehem, complete with real camels, sheep, hundreds of Biblically dressed characters and even a live Baby Jesus.  This church strived for authenticity, because even in the parking lot, “Shepard’s”, complete with beards and long, flowing robes greeted us. “Bethlehem is pretty crowded tonight. I’m going to have you be the first to park in the overflow parking lot. Follow this road up the hill and another Shepard will guide you to the remote parking area,” a Shepard told us. We dutifully followed directions and met another costumed character who proceeded to give us more directions to the overflow lot. Knowing it’s important to follow a Shepard’s instructions, we headed off as directed. “Are you sure we weren’t supposed a make right turn?” asked Allan. I glibly assured him to continue driving. How hard is it to find a large parking lot? Soon the torchlights of Bethlehem were next to us. A sheep walked in front of the car, but we assumed it was a stray from one of the pretend Shepard’s. Soon several Shepard’s gave us quizzical looks. A few stray chickens, along with a family wearing flowing robes walked next to our car.  Reality hit the three of us at the same time: “We’re driving through Bethlehem!” Our modern day Ford Contour was driving down Main Street Bethlehem, carefully avoiding animals, costumed characters and the general public. Sondra immediately dropped to the floor to hide her embarassment.

        “Back up! We haven’t gone that far!” I yelled. With clenched teeth, Allan said, “I can’t back up. There are two camels walking behind me.” I advised him to quickly turn left. His response, once more with clenched teeth was, “If I turn left, I will run over Baby Jesus, sleeping in the manger.” Turning right would have resulted in damage to the “Bethlehem Bakery” tent. We had no choice but to slowly drive down Main Street of Bethlehem for ¼ of a mile. Normally that’s a short distance. But when you’re trying to avoid chickens, goats and semi-angry looks from Shepards, it seems like a cross country trip. Those of you going to a Walk Through Bethlehem…make sure you actually walk!


2 Responses to “Beware of “Walk Through Bethlehem”!”

  1. Joanne Says:

    Silvana and Allan,

    I’m laughing myself silly picturing that scene! Thanks for not hitting anybody!

    We’ve collected another 50+ pairs of shoes for S4S. Should be sending them to the warehouse soon.

    Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!

    Joanne Z.
    Foot Solutions, West Chester, OH

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