I won’t count the miles. Just the stones that hurt my feet.
How far yet to Bethlehem? Too long for the daylight, for sure. Heat shimmers so the rocks seem to vibrate, to twist, almost to move. Oh for a pitcher of cool water, for food. The bread is dry and I’m out of dates.
Another day, more like three days… Footsore and anxious. What will this journey bring? Angels and women and dreams- what could go wrong? To the House of Bread… my family home, in all its faded glory. David’s day so, so long ago, and now just a pregnant girl and a weary man- can even the Lord do something with that?
It’ll be a quiet birth, no fuss, a room and a midwife, brave Mary keeping her head bowed- but the eyes that saw and the ears that heard cannot forget… no. Never forget.
I wish I could understand Mary’s courage! “Here am I, the Lord’s handservant… let it be to me as you have said….” I was scared at first too. Angels and dreams… we don’t do those, not in my tribe- well, not nowadays. Being a Dad… well, sort of Dad. A bigger challenge than I’ve faced before! Wood can be shaped, and stone can be shifted, but a baby? What if I drop him? If it is a him… Mary seems sure. The angel was pretty clear, but I’m not used to miracles. I guess its the long stony road for me, one step, one day at a time. I can do that. Well, I’ll do my best. Mary deserves no less!
And I’ve always believed,and kept the Law best I can…
I can… I will… do it! The angel said not to be afraid. Nothing about stones in my sandals and walking in this heat, once you hear “baby” nothing else matters. We’ll get there. I sure hope that was Your angel, God, because if the baby arrives before Bethlehem we’re in big trouble!
C’mon Joe, get a grip… one day, one step at at time. WE WILL DO THIS, do You hear me, God?
On we go… to Bethlehem.
I wonder if anyone will remember us? Footsore, anxious, obedient.