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Saturday, 20 December 2014

Where WAS He Born?

  Oh, oh, it looks like I"m "uppa gin it"We all have assumed, haven't we, that Jesus was born in a stable. Now some author has shed some new light on the story. Should I change this or leave it like it is?  Comments welcome

24 Chisleu
December 20th

This page will surely be unreadable because I can’t keep the tears
from falling. We finally reached Bethlehem at nightfall but there was
no room in the khan. No room at all! All the rooms above the shelter
for the animals were overcrowded with wealthy wayfarers, much wealthier than us. While, in the courtyard below, the animals had scarcely  enough room to shuffle around.

The innkeeper seemed apologetic, but helpless. Yosef
pleaded for him to suggest someplace—anywhere for us to
stay, but the poor, overwrought innkeeper shook his head sorrowfully.

“I am sorry. So sorry,” the innkeeper said, stroking his long, wavy
beard agitatedly. He lifted his hand to point at the people crowding

 “See this entire multitude? They too are in the same
predicament that you are in.”

“But is there not somewhere, anywhere that we can go?”
In Yosefs desperation, he reached out to clutch the steward’s striped

“Look, it is not for me that I am concerned,” Yosef continued, “it
is for my wife! She is young, slight of build, yet great with child. I
fear that all this traveling may bring her travail upon her earlier than it
ought. We need to find a shelter where she can rest.”

The paunchy innkeeper’s brow furrowed as he gazed around, as
if looking for direction. Someone plucked at his sleeve, demanding
attention, but with a scowl he nudged him aside.

“Over on yonder ridge is the town, but you will fare no better there.
 Nary a house is without guests at this time. Many have long awaited the  census already,  and I fear no one is willing or able to take in more travelers.”

“But is there no where for us to go?”

“Yonder ridge has its share of caves. Many of them will be used as
stables in this present predicament, but if you can find a little privacy
and rest in one of them, you are welcome to it. I will send a servant after you with fresh straw.
“If you should require a midwife before the night is o’er, I may find a
moment to check into it, but it will be nigh impossible to secure one at this
time. More than one woman is in the same condition as your sweet wife.”

In gratitude, Yosef took his hand, clasped it, then reached for
the lead strap on the donkey so we could clamber awkwardly down
among the rocks in search of a grotto turned into a stable. I lowered the
veil back over my face, lest Yosef would see the despair written there.

We did find a cave, however, without too much searching.
When Yosef was able to get the clay lamp lit, it seemed more cozy and
inviting. It was rather crowded, unfortunately. Yosef is trying to
persuade some of our fellow cave dwellers to take their lowing, smelly,
burden bearers, and hustle off to give us a measure of privacy.

I am so weary that all I want to do is remove my wet garments, find
something dry to wear, and sleep. Yosef is rather anxiously fluffing up the fresh straw, which was delivered by a young lad with a hand cart and is now shaking out our blanket.

I laid  the baby’s swaddling strips near the fire to dry. Fortunately
we had kept one blanket packed well so it wouldn’t get wet on the trip. It was
somewhat damp in a couple places but was better than nothing. We
sat beside a central fire until I was warmed up, which seemed to take
forever, then we crawled under our one rather thin blanket.

This grotto is rather crowded. In the stall next to ours are two tied
donkeys, whose owners are lounging against a nearby wall. At the far
end of the cave, there is some activity going on. I think a shepherd is
about to aid a ewe giving birth. Will there be two male ‘lambs’ born

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