Friday, December 19, 2008

A Mouse's Tale-A Christmas Story

Just a reminder to all of us—we need to keep close to our hearts the reason we celebrate during this time of the year. Actually, we should keep close to our hearts every minute of every day the amazing love that brought God’s Son from heaven’s throne to earth’s filthy stable that precious night.

Psalm 8:3-4 When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him?

It boggles my mind to consider what He did for me. Who am I that He is mindful of me? The Maker of the moon and the stars and the One who keeps them in their places cares about me! I’ve asked a thousand times, “Why?” I may never fully comprehend on this side of heaven, but I am so very grateful.

And during this season, I pray that we can all keep fresh this attitude of awe in spite of the distractions, the hustle and bustle of commercialism and the state of the nation’s finances. (Which are NOT our Father’s finances, but that’s another blog!)

I offer this little story to you. It rises from the reality that all creation recognizes and declares the glory of God! Let it be my gift to you, along with a prayer for a blessed Christmas, and a prosperous, joy-filled, dream-come-true New Year!

A Mouse’s Tale
© Kathy Lebron 2008
The stable door quietly closed, and there we were once again without humans in our modest dwelling. Most of us returned to eating, sleeping, and keeping protective watch over our young and one another as we had always done before that amazing night.

It seems like only yesterday. But it was truly the most exciting thing that we could ever have imagined happening in a docile place like this! It began when a simple couple arrived at the stable with the owner of the inn which is attached to this barn. The woman's belly was very large, and she seemed very uncomfortable as she was ready to bear a child. Because of the census that was decreed across the country, everyone had to travel to the place where they had been born. So, there were many visitors in the town in those days. By the time this couple arrived, all the local inns were already filled. The innkeeper was not always the kindest human, but his own wife had recently had a child, and the very expectant mother must have pulled on his heartstrings!

So, that night, the innkeeper himself moved the large, brown horse from his stall, cleaned the area, and laid fresh hay on the ground before leading the couple into it. As he did, I heard my mouse spouse call to me from our safe place in the back of one of the other stalls. "Perry S. Winkle," she whispered heavily, "Come over here right now before you get caught!" I always know she is serious or angry with me when she says my full name. But something about these folks made me want to be present in the stable instead of scampering quickly under a haystack or into the small hole in the wall where we reside, like I usually would when humans come into the stable. And I continued to watch the scene unfold as the man and the innkeeper did what they could to make the woman comfortable. Because she was in great pain, the innkeeper left to find a midwife—the event was imminent.

Then it happened! A man-child was born in our humble stable! Although births are a common occurrence here, this one was—well--unique! It was as if a blanket fell over us—peace and light seemed to flood the air. The man-child gently whimpered as the midwife cleaned him and wrapped him in a soft cloth. Then the man did the oddest thing! He emptied one of the feeding troughs and filled it with clean hay. He picked up his new Son, and laid him into it.

I watched the drama from under the manger, and was overcome with the strange quiet that filled the room, despite the braying of the visiting donkeys, and the bleating of the sheep. Who would have thought of such a thing? One of the donkeys almost stepped on my tail as she drew close and tenderly sniffed at the manger; her eyes bright and curious. If I'm not mistaken, she was the donkey who came with the couple when they arrived. The parents of the man-child looked on, joyful and tired after their arduous journey and the eventful night.

The family stayed with us for many days. All the animals got used to having humans in the stall, which was not so common an occurrence. I was fascinated by the love that surrounded and flowed from them. My mouse spouse and I loved watching the parents as they held their baby, whispering to one another and smiling down at their Son.

Some time later, I could smell something peculiar with my pointed black nose. An unfamiliar, sweet fragrance poured through the air. Humans dressed in deep, rich colored garments and strange headwear visited the family. Although they appeared to be important and even regal, they actually bowed down very low when they saw the child! The tassels from the neck of one of the men suddenly tickled my tail, and I scurried quickly into the hole. After a while, my mouse spouse and I carefully ventured back from our hiding place to observe these kingly visitors presenting gifts to the child’s parents. The mother smiled at the men, and laid the presents next to the sleeping child.

I could go on and on about this miracle that occurred in our little stable…the way the mother looked at her baby as she cradled Him in her arms…the visitors’ awed reactions to the child, the peace and joy that resided in our barn while He was there…

The time came for the family to move on. All of the animals quietly watched, and as she prepared to leave, the mother patted some of us on the head. She looked right down at me, and smiled warmly, the child sleeping soundly in her arms. Despite our tumultuous introduction, the woman and I learned not to be afraid of one another, and could actually cohabitate quite peacefully!

And so the door quietly closed and they were gone! We would never be the same. We had been touched by this special family, and it would never really be over behind our little stable door.

A prophet long ago said,"For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." We believe it was this very prince who was born among us.

3 comments:

  1. That mouse sure can tell a story! That was cute. You really have a knack for dipping into the mind of little creatures. That mouse got a taste of what it's going to be like on the New Earth. Great story!

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  2. Beautiful and timely Kathy - thank you

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  3. When we pray, may we always remember "what is man that you are mindful of him." God is sovereign, not our servant.

    I loved the mouse's perspective, but would suggest looking into the timing of events. There is a teaching that suggests that the visit from the Magi was a while later, and not in the stable. We have that image in mind because of the creche, but it may not be an accurate one.

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