The night was cold and uninviting. He watched from across the street as the last of the storefronts were closed for Christmas Eve. His heart was heavy with longing for a place called home. “I am a wanderer and always will be,” he thought. Snow was falling as he wrapped the tattered coat around his shivering body.
“I suppose I better get moving or the cops will come and arrest me.” His mind was weary of the constant battle of thinking of ways to keep warm and his hungry stomach full. Shoes full of holes invited the cold snow to soak his feet and add to his misery. He had no plan this evening.
Christmas lights decorated the streetlamps and for a short moment he remembered trimming trees with his parents as a child. Memories of a warm fireplace, mistletoe, and pumpkin pie filled his mind as he shuffled to the park bench where he thought he would spend the night.
“It’s really not so bad, it’s just another night. Morning will come. I am a survivor.” His thoughts faded as he curled up on the bench and drifted off to sleep.
“Hey Mister!” He was suddenly wakened by some young boys running down the street toward him. “Hey Mister! Is your name Nathanael, Nathanael Weddington?” Their enthusiasm was irritating as he was not fully awake.
“Yeah, what of it?”
“Mister, Mister Nathanael, you’ve got to get up! We have papers here that say you have inherited a bunch of stuff. We’ve been watching you for days to make sure you’re the guy. Look here, it says that you are the heir of the great King and He has been waiting for you all your life. All you have to do is recognize that He is your Father and we can take you to the palace.”
“What, are you kids crazy? Go bother someone else.”
“No, Mister. We have been sent to rescue you and bring you back to the palace. Look, here’s your profile. Isn’t this you?”
He grabbed the papers and could not believe his great fortune. What they were telling him was true! He was heir to the great King’s estate, it was all written in the precious paperwork.
“I believe, and will go with you to the great King’s palace. But I have nothing to bring. I have nothing suitable to wear. I am a pauper and a wanderer.”
“There is no need Nathanael Weddington, the great King has everything you need. He will be thrilled when he sees that we have found you and that you want to come home.”
“Home? What is that? I do not have a home, haven’t had one for many years.” As the word “home” settled in his mind, the young boys helped him up. They started to walk, then they flew. Suddenly they were at the palace door.
He heard much celebrating, singing, and laughter inside. Memories of childhood Christmases filled his mind. His heart warmed but he was ashamed of his appearance at the door of the great palace.
“Do not fear, Nathanael Weddington, we have brought you home.” As they opened the door of the palace, thousands of people were cheering. The great King came to him, took His robe off and handed it to Nathanael. “Here, son, put this on. I have bought it for you. Take My sandals, wear them, they are yours. Come over to the fire with Me and let’s sit awhile.”
Nathanael was in awe of all that he saw. As he was taking it all in, the young boys disappeared with all the guests and he was alone with the great King. “You are My son, Nathanael. You believed my messengers. You are home.” And with that, the great King handed Nathanael an ornament and together they walked to the palace tree.
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