I believe that God speaks to us through Bible stories when we open our hearts to new understandings. In high school we learn to read between the lines, to listen for what the writer has to say. The same skill will bring us wisdom when we listen for God as we read the Bible. My hope is that my readers will identify with the eyewitness who tells my story and consider the lessons for their lives today.
Enjoy a cup of coffee/tea as you sit in your comfy chair at home and join with my storytellers, Mary, Thomas, Hannah and many more as they tell their stories.”
Have fun telling the stories yourself. Learn them by heart but not word for word. It’s fun to be “Hannah”, a family friend and bring the story of twelve-year- old Jesus to life, whether in formal worship or at a fundraiser.
Many people have written stories about the animals that could have been present the night Jesus was born. This time I felt it was important to consider another family who might have been present. Benjamin and his father, Aaron, a single parent family, are fictional characters from my imagination.
The Christmas Shadow
Boarding in the stable was part of Father’s pay for working at the inn. We’d been living here in the hayloft for only a few days when they came.
I was afraid for her. She looked so young, just a little older than me. Their baby was ready to be born. I knew, of course, that babies were born every day, but my mother had died when I was born. I was a boy, only twelve, but I knew enough to be afraid. Would this baby be like me with a lame leg and hesitant speech? Adults call me “the cripple.” Many of my peers are mean. They mock and tease. Their words are cruel. Some even push me over and laugh. I try to fight back and occasionally land a fist in a face or gut, but not often. It’s not easy being different.
On that evening, my father was still working serving drinks and late-night meals at the inn. I stood in the shadows alone, listening for the baby to be born and praying. I begged our God to care for the woman and her child. The innkeeper’s wife, Lois, came out to help. I heard the baby’s first strong, lusty wail. Someone clapped their hands. Lois’ voice rang out, “He’s beautiful, and so perfect.”
I breathed a sigh of relief. All is well, I thought. He’s not like me. I retreated to our hayloft.