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Just Suppose…A Christmas Story

Mary’s eyes popped open with the first soft whispers of the birds planning their day. She dressed hurriedly and then headed for the kitchen to start preparing the currants and nuts and figs for his cake–his favorite cake, of course. Today was going to be a very special day.

As the delectable aroma from the oven began to float through the house, she went quietly into his room. Stooping down she gently brushed the damp hair from his forehead and then whispered softly, "Jesus, it’s time to wake up."

The little boy rubbed his eyes and covered his head with his pillow.

"What do I smell, Mother? It smells so good! I know what it is—it’s my birthday cake! That one with all the nuts and figs. My very favorite!"

"You’re right! Nine years ago God gave you to us. And what a wonderful gift! I love you, dear little nine-year old boy. Happy birthday."

"Nine years ago! Tell me about that first night again, Mother. I love to hear it."

"And I love to tell it!"

She took his hand in hers as she began to reminisce.

"I remember it so well. You’ve seen how big Ruth is now with her baby coming? I was that big! And you know how crowded it is when we go to Bethlehem every year for census? Well, it was just that crowded! There were absolutely no rooms for us—we had looked everywhere. I was so tired, and your father knew how badly I needed to get off that donkey’s back and lie down. I felt sorry for the innkeeper—poor man. I could tell that he hated to turn us away and we had just started to leave when he called after us, ‘Hey! The stable is warm—if you wouldn’t mind sleeping in there with the animals.’"

"You had some very strange bedfellows that first night. Let’s see; there were two cows, about six chickens roosting up on the rafters, four sheep—one tiny little lamb, one horse, our own sweet donkey, and a cuddly little black puppy that kept trying to wash your face. Your first cradle was a feeding trough with hay in it—clean, soft, sweet-smelling hay.

"And you’ll remember my telling you about the shepherds—oh, they were all so excited! There were two little boys in the group—about your age, named Rufus and Joel. The angels came down from heaven and sang to them and talked to them—and nearly scared Rufus and Joel to death! And there was the bright star that led those shepherds to our stable—to you, Jesus. Then, when you were still very small, there were the three rich men who brought you gifts, lovely, expensive gifts. It was an amazing, wonderful night. I’ll never forget it."

The boy was quiet, looking out the window watching the minute flecks of dust dance in the sunbeams.

"Mother, may I invite some friends over today for cake?"

"Why, of course you may. Who would you like to ask?"

"I’d give anything if Lazarus could be here. You know, Mother, that he’s my very best friend. And it would be nice if Martha and Mary could come. But, anyway, I’d like to ask David."

"David? I don’t know a David, do I?"

"He’s the lame boy that lives at the end of the road on past John’s house. And, of course, I want John to be here. And then there are some friends who live out at the far edge of the city—I just know they never ever have any cake. Could I ask them? Would that be all right?"

"Ask anyone you want to ask. I’ll make another cake if I have to. This is your day."

"Thank you. You’re the nicest mother in the whole wide world."

"Well, you’re pretty nice yourself and I love you dearly. Now, enough of this. Up and out, happy birthday boy!"

Mary watched later that day as Jesus shared his cake with the children he had invited. Deprived children. Children with unhappy eyes. Children with marred bodies and soiled, torn clothing. Where did He find them? But then, she should have known. He was such a compassionate child. But today—today they were all laughing and playing. He had a way of making people laugh, of making them forget their poverty or their pain.

The sun had almost hidden itself from view when Jesus finally came inside. His face was flushed, his hair messed up—he had obviously been wrestling and rolling in the grass. His hands were behind his back.

"I have something for you, Mother.

To show you how much I love you and to thank you for today."

He shyly held up a wreath of flowers and clover that he had woven together. "I wish I could have a birthday every day, Mother. David had such a great time! Did you see him laughing? And did you see how much cake those kids ate? I told you they never had any cake. It’s fun to make other people happy. Thank you for making this such a special birthday for me and for my friends"

Christmas. His birthday. Go ahead. Make it a special day—a very special day. Bake a cake. Light the candles. Celebrate. But remember—it’s HIS birthday.
Just suppose we could all remember that it is His birthday.
Just suppose that we would all let Him live through us especially on this day—His birthday.
Just suppose we reached out to the hurting, the deprived, the hungry.
Just suppose we could make them laugh—for one short day.
Just suppose we could make them forget their poverty—for at least one day.
Just suppose we could ease someone’s pain—if only for one day.
Just suppose we would allow Him to love others through us on this one day—His birthday.
Just suppose . . ..
Do you suppose Christmas might be a little different?

Have a fun birthday celebration!

About the Author

Anabel spent decades teaching in many contexts through Lifetime Guarantee Ministries. She has taught countless others how to have a genuine intimate faith and a sound marriage. She shared from her heart about living from the heart. Lifetime’s beloved founder and mentor passed away November 7, 2010. Her legacy and influence are timeless and priceless.