Mary has fallen asleep; the child is in her arms nursing contentedly. All is calm now and the stars are shining brighter than I have ever seen them before. I don’t know how Mary can sleep, my mind is racing my very soul is pulsing, and all the fear and worry are gone.
There were no rooms available and the innkeepers were impatient, harsh even. They see in the census a gold mine for themselves. One offered us to use a stable and charged a dear price for it. I was heartbroken that I could do no more for Mary and the child. Mary’s time came and she delivered the child and what I beheld I will never forget.
The cave was alight with shining beings and the night was filled with their music such as I had never heard before. Angels from God, they surrounded the Child and Mary and I bathed in the glow of their radiance and all I could feel was profound love and joy. A fragrance of sweet flowers filled the cave where the animals had been. Mary seemed to be in ecstasy, her face reflecting the light emanating from the celestial guardians. After a time the Angels seemed to withdraw just a bit, they hovered above and behind her but the front of the cave they left open. Shepherds from the fields came, very hesitantly, the fear on their faces was evident but one of the Angels bade them to come closer and fear not. Indeed, he proclaimed to the Shepherds, Rejoice!
They brought gifts such as they had, food and wine for Mary and me, blankets for the child and wood for a fire. I took the wood and built a fire outside the stable to provide warmth, light and protection from the night predators. I have not slept for three days, but I am just beginning to feel tired. Indeed, I have never felt so alive in my life. My eyes are starting to grow heavy as I write this; I have never known such peace. Who is this child that Angels and Shepherds adore? Who am I to be trusted with His care?
Joseph found us shelter, a cave used for the keeping of animals. I could see the concern in his face. The child was coming and I did not care if it was a cave or a palace. Joseph helped me to lie down on some blankets over a mound of straw. He started a fire with the wood we had and then left to gather more. I prayed to God for help in my need.
In my prayer I was lifted up, my body relaxed. I knew Joseph had returned I could feel his hand holding mine. “The child is coming,” I told him.
I could hear Joseph answer, but his reply was a prayer to the greatness of God. The cave glowed with light. I could see heavenly beings all around me. I could smell a sweet fragrance fill the air.
I was moved to kneel in prayer, deeper prayer than I had ever experienced. The child came forth and two angels received Him from me. One was the Angel Gabriel that brought me God’s message; the other was dressed in armor like a warrior.
The child’s face radiated light like that of the Angels around us only his light was more solid, more real. The Angels placed the child in my arms and stepped back a few paces and dropped to the ground face down in adoration of the child.
After a while, the Angels moved out from the cave. I knew they were still present as I could hear their singing and see their light. Shepherds from the fields nearby came and paid homage to my Son. Their faces reflected the glow of light from the Angels and the Child. Tears of Joy streamed down their faces as they praised God’s faithfulness to His promise.
Then they left and the Angels stationed themselves outside the cave. As I write this I recall how I never felt safer, more loved and more fully alive than at that moment when my son Jesus was born.