The days following Christmas, for too many of us, spiral down to overflowing trash bins and treks to stores to return goods or hunt bargains.
What was it like in the days after Christ’s birth?
Who’s still hanging around The Miracle, still swaddled and sensing he’s left far more than a womb?
The shepherds, heads held higher since tapped by God to welcome the baby in a barn, head to the hills to do the work of tending sheep and telling The Story.
The angels fly off to handle their newest assignments.
The Innkeeper still stunned, wrings his hands and shakes his head over what’s been happening outside his Inn.
The stable needs mucking out, animals need fresh straw and feed, and The Miracle needs diapering.
Then, there’s the very young mother, Mary, body sore and tired, breasts tender from a nursing baby, pondering this mystery she cradles, while crooning a lullaby to the One who is God’s Heart Song to all the weary world, then and now.
Joseph still stands watch over what he doesn’t fully understand but trusts all will be well. His old worries of finding a place for Mary and the unborn child, not of his seed but his to love and raise, now wonders what’s ahead, fights panic with prayers, “Sweet Jesus…Mary…God have mercy.”
Ahh, Joseph, I’m with you, inhaling leftover holiness, exhaling prayers for mercy.
I see you pondering, Joseph, duty on the brain and dung on your sandals, not unlike the rest of us trying to trust God with what we don’t understand.
Wondering what’s next?
I hear you, Joseph, “Stand watch over those you love, and take heart. The story’s still being written.”
Good to know, Joe.
Faithful and trustworthy.
Isn’t that what most of us long to be, after all’s said and done in the days after Christmas?
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