“Papa, there is someone at the gate who asks to see you.”
“Me? Who would ask to see me?”
“It is the prophet, the one from Nazareth. The one who heals.”
“Yes, I have heard of him, but why me?
“Please, Papa! Let him come in. He may be able to help you.”
The crusty old man scowled, “Foolishness, Child! I am far beyond help. I am lame and helpless. My only hope is the grave to relieve me of my misery.”
“Please, Papa, for Mama’s memory.”
“For Sarah’s memory? Only if you insist. Let him in.”
The tall, strong young man entered the room.
There was something about him. An air of confidence. Simon had seen that before, but where he could not remember.
“I am Jesus of Nazareth”, said his guest. “You don’t remember me but I was a guest of your inn a long time ago.”
“There have been many guests in my inn. Why should I remember you?”
“There is no reason, but you may remember my Mother. It was the time of the census, thirty years ago. There was no room in the inn so you allowed us to stay in your stable.”
The old man seemed confused. He looked into the face of the young prophet before him. The eyes. He had seen those eyes before. Then, it came to him. The child. That strange night when all the heavens were lighted with a mysterious glow. All those people that gathered around the stable. He had for one moment held the child and he had seen those eyes.
“Yes, Simon, it is I, and I have come to thank you for showing compassion to my family that night.”
“But, I didn’t…I made your mother give birth in a cold stable while I slept in a warm house. Forgive me…”
“It is done”, said Jesus as he placed his hand on Simon’s shoulder.
Simon felt a surge of power flow through his body. His legs were tingling from the rush of blood that was now giving color to his emaciated skin. He grabbed Jesus’ hand and was lifted up. He walked. For the first time in twenty years he walked. His daughter and grandchildren wept and shouted for joy. The word rapidly spread throughout the household and into the streets and across the village. The legendary child of Bethlehem had returned. The people thronged about Him but he could not tarry. He was on the way to Jerusalem.