If you haven’t read Part 1, scroll down and read it first. Enjoy!
The blurs of stone in the distance slowly came into focus as houses. Joseph sighed knowing they were almost there. He knew it was none too soon. Mary had been tensing every couple of minutes ever since the sun started to set. He didn’t realize that baby was so close. He hoped they could reach his kinsmen quickly. Soon they began to hear the drone of the townspeople as they busied themselves for the night. There were many still out on the streets. The town was full of people who had traveled from all over to register. Joseph only hoped they could still find somewhere to bed for the night. Mary was taking deep breaths. He knew her time was near. The small house that belonged to Joseph’s distant kin came into view. Joseph knew that he would be received there, but only if the rooms weren’t already filled with others who had filed into Bethlehem. He pulled the small mule up to the house and very tenderly helped Mary off. She placed her hands on the small of her back and stretched.
Joseph knocked on the door. He heard voices inside. Light spilled out into the dusk as the door creaked open. He embraced his kin and quickly explained his need for a place to stay. The tall grey haired man looked genuinely sorry when he shook his head and gestured to all those seated at the table behind him. As he looked past Joseph and saw Mary great with child, he thought of his stable. He pitched fresh hay in it earlier that day. It would be a place to rest.
Mary needed a place to lie down. The baby was coming. When Joseph’s kin caught her eye, she saw his eyes were soft and kind. They were also sorrowful, so she knew his answer before Joseph even returned to tell her. When her husband mentioned the stable, she was relieved. She knew it would be somewhere to lie down. When she was settled in the barn, the realization that the Son of God would be born in a stable started to sink in. She wondered what God would think of her now. Would she still be highly favored? Those thoughts were quickly swept out as her labor pains started coming stronger and faster.
When the baby was finally born, Mary had Joseph rip up one of the head wraps she had brought. She took the strips and swaddled the baby. Joseph quickly dumped out the bits and scraps of food left in one of the mangers. He lined it with hay and then the left over cloth. In it, Mary gently laid the most precious baby boy ever to be born. The Savior of the world. God’s only Son. She sighed and could feel God’s favor. She no longer worried about the baby being born in a barn. As she sat in that stable, the sweet smell of hay slipped in her nose. She crossed her arms and hugged herself and felt Joseph’s strong and heavy hand on her shoulder. She leaned down over the manger to look in the eyes of the One who would save her, and in his ear she quietly whispered, “Jesus.”
Woven Copyright 2007 Carol Hatcher
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a very blessed new year!