“But it occurred in those days that a command also went out from Augustus Caesar that every nation* of his empire would be registered. This census was the first in the government of Quraynus in Syria.” ~ Lk 2:1-2
There is a story – a holy story whispered and then written about 2000 years ago. A story about a man and a woman on a journey. One weary step after another weary step. 80 miles for a census that they had to do – not wanted to do. A mandate.Foreign laws enforced. Foreign ways demanded.. Leaving home – not knowing that they would not see home -family – friends – possessions for several years.
In those days, such a journey was not an easy one. Grumbling companions who were also compelled to travel far away. Bandits taking advantage of stragglers. Wild animals,lions and bears and snakes, – oh my – made the journey perilous even to those traveling in a group – – – let alone a very pregnant woman..
These were not ordinary times. These were times full of fear beyond the everyday uncertainties. A conguered people had much to fear. Roman demands. Violence. Fear. Sorrow. Racial tension. Religious biogotry. Terrorism. And a baby – a baby coming any day.
“And everyone was going to be registered in his own city. But Yoseph had come up from Nazareth, a city of Galilee, to Judea to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was from the house and from the lineage of David” ~Lk 2:3-4
When I read this holy story, I remember that Mary and Joseph had something much deeper than many of their fellow travelers. I wonder if their fellow travelers sensed something special about the pregnant lady and her doting husband? Did friends and family rest a little more comfortably when they camped beside them – or shared stories at the end of a day’s travel?
Maybe it is just me, but there is something special about people who know the LORD. The LORD shines through them and out into every molecule that touches them. A vibration that bumps and grows and radiates with each encounter. This holy couple carried the LORD for 9 months – facing each new decision together and now – were in the final days before His entry into the physical world – into a tiny stable where the dirt and vermin and animals lived and excreted daily.
The journey continues for us. One step after another and at the end of our path – if we are wise enough to seek Him – the LORD will be born spiritually into our lives. It doesn’t matter how filthy or filled with evil we have been – He will come to those who ask just as He physically came to those who welcomed Him into their arms so long ago and sang Him a tender lullabye.
The softness of night is here. Dogs are snoring on the couch, and husband has tucked himself into our Armish Oak bed. Love this time of night; when the quiet sings sweet lullabies in my head, and my eyes grow heavy with dreams yet visualzied. God’s blessing to the end of a busy day weaves a comforter warmer than the heavy denim that covers our bed.
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you.” Jm 4:7
Thankful praises drift slowly through my foggy brain – dreams of builiding something together again – the call of a student’s story to listen – a Grand’s hesitant touch of a red fox pelt that Papa found on his walk this morning – the excitement to read aloud an old book to Grandma “One Fish, Two Fish…” – the echo of looking at a daughter/mama who once read that same book in the same happy voice – another Grand’s tiredness overcoming his curiousness as he curls into his daddy for comfort. Treasures beyond measure. Reams of dreams yet to be.
“Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.” Jm 8-9
But memories are two-edged swords. Repentenance pleas of sharp words, glances and failings that nip at my heels when I am not careful. Frustration over choices that I do not understand. Demons that haunt those I love. Pain and doubts that I can not answer…….for myself or others. My knees quiver as I curl tighter into myself and see the abyss’s darkness that always re-appears to block my path.
But I am blessed, the pit’s allure has lost its fearful power, and I no longer fall too deeply. Its deceptive reflection reminding me of how much higher I need and can reach.
“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.’ Jm 4:10
As always, His melody sings and His sweet lullabye surrounds me. The evil one has no power against this and the path is made whole once again by prayer requests in my heart. Perfectly orchestrated counterpoints to His melody — miraculous rays entwined to carry forth healing to those in pain and weakness — those with torments that do not show — those unspokens that only He knows. Toes uncurl, fingers outstretched, and my hand reaches out to grip the One that lifts me up.
It is my nightime prayer; it is the sweet lullaby in the softness of the night. It is the soft bed that welcomes me. It is the soft quiet of the night at the end of a busy day. It is the knowing that God dances over me as I sleep, delights in me and reaches out His hand to lift me up…everyday – everynight.. Sweet dreams to all of you.
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Tagged abyss, Amish Oak Furniture Company of Loudonville, demons, God, James, Jesus, Jm 4:7 Thankful, lullabye, night, prayer, Sandi Pattiy, sweet dreams