A Christmas Message by Linda Marie Pharaoh-Carlson
She had journeyed a far distance. It was uncomfortable and the road had been fraught with pits and stones which made it even worse for their traveling. She was tired. More completely exhausted than tired.
Yet she hadn't questioned once, the way chosen for her to trod.
Joseph had received the same wondrous message concerning the new life within her. He would be 'papa', and would bare the huge responsibility of mentoring the child who carried the knowledge of the universe within his heart, a thought that so many times would overcome him. How many questions Joseph stored inside himself, and what of Mary?
She was very young, but looked far older than her innocence. She had experienced a miracle of no small proportion which would overwhelm even the most mature woman of the day.
The longest journey for her, was just beginning.
But for now, it was a time to rest. She slept with her tiny infant son, forgetting the pain she'd just endured. The myriad of questions and fears that swirled around in her head. She felt a strange and deep pang in her heart that could not be explained... which begged attention but gave way to the blessed quiet that came with gentle slumber.
The new mown hay, pungent with smells of the stable, and yet oddly comforting to her for the moment. The lowing cattle and sheep were restless in their stalls and it seemed such an unearthly place in which to bring forth a brand new so fragile little life. Albeit, the life of a King.
She held in her arms a totally dependent little human being.
A miracle. All births are miracles. But this time she was holding the promise of God. Not only a new life which held promise in and of itself, but new life for all mankind. For anyone...everyone. She enveloped this tiny innocence in the arms of her love and slept.
Perhaps it was the only time on earth when God genuinely felt the all encompassing love He so willingly gives to everyone, surround and secure Him, as a baby quietly nestled closely to His mama's bosom.
A love so closely akin to God's own that one wonders how it made God feel at that very moment. How often do we ever wonder how GOD feels?
It is that feeling that would be so long desired in mankind.
That completely unselfish, warm and secure place where one could sleep without worry and care, entirely at peace knowing that more loving and capable arms held you.
That child, would be the one that offered to hold the world... so lovingly and securely and in just such a way. His birth would lead to the greatest act of love for anyone who would believe, for centuries to come.
As we see young Mary cradle her tiny infant son, having given her last ounce of strength to bring Him safely into the world, we realize that many sacrifices both small and large have been made to assure us that God loves us.
He made the absolute and ultimate sacrifice to gather us close and surround and secure us in His loving arms. Christmas merits a closer look. Beyond the gentle and serene portrayals of the Savior's birth, there lies true struggle and sacrifice.
Uneasy, unpleasant and harsh.
The ultimate 'Yes!' to the affirmation of our very existence began with one such sacrifice.
In a simple and unassuming stable filled with noisy animals, unpleasant odors, damp straw, and a simple peasant girl.
Crude and humble beginnings for the greatest gift of love there ever was to mankind.
Mary and baby rested there.
And in the midst of our own unpleasant and crude stable experiences of life, may we also rest.
In His wisdom.
In His all-encompassing love for us.
In His great act of redemption of mankind for all generations, race, creeds, and colors.
In His warm and loving embrace, that feels like a mother's gentle gathering us in close to her.
For all time.
In the great expanse of time,
and in the most troubling of times,
may you know this peace.
Linda Marie Pharaoh-Carlson, copyright, all rights reserved
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The graphics on this page were made by Linda M.P.Carlson expressly for this web site. Do not use these graphics without contacting her via email for permission at the "Expressions/Submissions" email click link provided on our index page of this web site and Writer's Block Writing Community.
The lovely photographic art is copyrighted by: Iona Hoeppner, a beautiful Christian artist who freely allows her work to be used by anyone under her proper usage terms. Please visit her at "Art For Christ", HERE: Art For Christ