Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Donkey's Journal

Hi there. I am Joseph’s donkey. I want to share the most amazing story of my life. I’ve been with Joseph from the time he was a boy. He later named me Good News when he opened his carpentry store.

Joseph always talks to me but he doesn’t know I actually understand. People don’t think that animals can talk so we only talk amongst ourselves; although I have been known to give an obnoxious person or two a rise by blurting something out in the human language. My speaking always stops their speaking.

Anyway, I am getting off the point. Joseph named me Good News because he felt I always brought good news to him when we would journey together to sell his handiwork. I like the name a lot. Well I want to share my journal with you from back in 5…B.C. that is. It was early April…

April 6, 5 B.C.
Joseph was especially talkative this morning. He told me we were taking a trip to Bethlehem and that I would be carrying his beautiful fiancée Mary, whom I loved. She was quiet, reflective, and kind. I worried though when Joseph mentioned that she was close to giving birth. I knew I would have to make this as smooth a ride as possible. Joseph said something in a hushed tone that I did not understand. He came close to my ear and said, “Our lives and I think the world is about to change. Yahweh has sent the Bright Morning Star to my Mary.” He said it trembling with an anxious but joyful tone. He then said, “And you my friend will be part of this.” Like Mary I pondered this.

April 9, 5 B.C.
Our departure day arrived. Early in the morning we set out. Joseph helped Mary, large with child, on my back. I tried to bend down a little to make it easier for her but she still groaned in discomfort. We set out. I made my steps as smooth and rhythmic as possible for lovely expectant Mary. This journey would be especially difficult for a woman in Mary’s condition. Yet much of that day she sang hymns to my Maker and hers. One went like this…
I am blessed among woman
With your fruit in my womb
Come child I will nourish
The world will be your room
It sounded so sweet in Mary’s voice. I began to realize there was something special about this child. But what? “Your fruit in my womb,” she was singing this to our Maker. Who is this child?

April 10, 5 B.C.
We traveled all day and all of us are exhausted; Mary much more so than Joseph and me. She doesn’t look so good. I wish there was more that I could do. Joseph built a fire and roasted some fish. I don’t like fish but there was a delectable clump of grass and shrubs nearby. As I grazed I overheard the young humble couple.

Joseph: Are you alright Mary?
Mary: Uncomfortable love but Yahweh is my strength.
Joseph: Mary, I know He chose you but why me? What will I do?
Mary: My beloved, he will need a father. Guidance. A warm home. Love. Discipline. To be taught. Though he is the Son of God he will be our son to love, cherish, and nurture.
Joseph: You are right. How blessed we are amongst all the couples on earth. He chose us. He loves us. He has entrusted us with His son. Great is our God.
Mary: And I think, Joseph, many after us will be entrusted with him to love as we do. Do you wonder about his future? His purpose?
Joseph: His name is Yeshua. Yahweh has made a way for the forgiveness of sins. Some better way than the killing of a lamb.
Mary: He will be our lamb but we shall have to share him with all the world.
Joseph: Yes. The Lamb of God –
Mary: Who takes away the sins of the world.
They looked at each other as lovers do. They kissed. But it was more than just lovers. They had the determined look of those on a special mission.

April 11, 5 B.C.
Can’t sleep. Can’t stop thinking about what Mary and Joseph said and then my thoughts were interrupted by a growing soft but steady light. The light formed into the presence of a man. He spoke to me. “Good News, I am Gabriel sent from God. I am the angel sent to Mary, Joseph, and Zechariah. And now to you.”

“You have been chosen by God to carry His son to the place the prophets foretold concerning His birth. Bethlehem. The House of Bread! And the Bread of Life that feeds the salvation starved world will be born there. Good News! You are carrying the Good News of God to the entire world. To all of creation. Mary carries your Maker who will redeem even nature and all its creatures.”

I knelt in wonder. Then he left. Redemption for the entire world. God has remembered the day He created all the world and said it was good. This baby will make it good once more.

April 12, 5 B.C.
We’ve arrived in Bethlehem. Finally. It is so cold. Looking at Mary we arrived just in time. She has been moaning for hours now. Joseph has constantly prayed through her moaning. I did everything I could to make my steps soft and light. I can’t stop thinking I am carrying the woman who carries the Son of the Maker. My work has been given great honor. I think this child will bring dignity to all who work and serve. Joseph took Mary from my back. He was in a panic asking person after person where there was room to stay. Bethlehem was packed because of the census.

I watched as Joseph appealed to the last possibility of a place to stay. I heard the discouraging words of the Inn Keeper and saw Joseph’s dejected face. Then I had a crazy idea.

I know in a place like this there are a lot of other fellow animals. They have to stay someplace. So I headed down the nearest path to the tavern Joseph was at. Bingo! I could see a small cave about 100 yards from the tavern and I saw another donkey in front tied up. So, I sauntered down to him and told him my whole story.

This donkey’s name was Searcher. And looking at him I knew why. He had only three legs. He told me that he’s wondered all his life why the Maker made him this way. When I told him who this arriving child was he excitedly declared, “Maybe this child is the answer I have been searching for! Do you think we could have him stay here with the rest of us?” I simply smiled my big donkey smile and said, “Hee Haw! That’s exactly what I had in mind.” I headed back to Joseph and met him on the way up as he was carrying Mary toward me accompanied by a pleasant looking, middle-aged woman. I recognized her. Just as I had left she came to the door as the Inn Keeper and Joseph were talking. I think she is the Inn Keeper’s wife. It is possible she has my same idea. “Maker, please make a way for this child, Mary, and Joseph, “ I prayed under my breath.

Next week: The Inn Keeper’s wife’s journal…

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