From the corner of my eye I watch as the two strangers talk with my master. I cannot make out their words, but I know the discussion is about me by the way they look and point in my direction. Surely my master did not intend to sell me. He was a hard man, but fair.
He shakes his head- a good sign.
I return to my meal- the first chance to eat all day. I am hungry- and tired. My feet and back ache from the arduous work load, yet I prefer to remain here. Another owner may be far worse. I have heard of brutal masters who enjoy beatings for no reason.
Now they clasp hands in friendly gesture. The strangers smile and approach. Not good.
“You will go with these men.” Master says. Recognizing the apprehension in my eyes he promptly added, “Not to worry. It is but for a few hours then they will bring you home.”
Leaving my meal unfinished I do as I am told without a word, for even if I dared protest I am physically incapable of speech.
After a short walk we approach a small group huddled beside the road. They stand and it seems I recognize one man, though I swear our paths have never crossed.
“This is he.” He smiles. I lower my head and reaches out to touch my face.
“I am sorry to ask this task of you, my friend, but my burden will not be too heavy for you to bear and it will be over soon.”
I tend to have a stubborn streak when forced into unfamiliar work- yet today I accept my duty gracefully.
As we travel the crowd lined street this man’s identity is revealed to me. He is the son of God, creator and master of all things.
Some cheer as we pass, others yell obscenities. Yet a few are merely curious apathetic bystanders. For some reason these seem to anger me the most. Do they not realize the magnitude of this man? Do they not care?
If only I could speak.
Despite my handicap I try to shout my annoyance, but it comes out as a shrill blast. This merely brings laughter from the crowd. I hang my head in humiliation.
“I know.” He touches my shoulder and again I sense the tenderness of heart. “It is these that displease me the most also, but that is not your battle, small friend. You are carrying out precisely the task you were created for.”
If only I could speak.
I want to say how it was my grandfather that carried his mother and him, safely in her womb, to Bethlehem some thirty-odd years ago, but I suspect He already knows.
“Yes, brave one, you come from a lineage of faithful servants, all chosen for a specific purpose, and I am honored to have you serve me.” Softly He combs the mane between my ears with his fingers.
“We have reached the end of this journey.” He pats my neck and I stop.
I bow to my knees and lower my face in reverence to my true master and creator. This action brings gasps of awe from the same crowd that snickered minutes before.
“Rise faithful friend and return home. Your service to the kingdom is complete.” From nowhere He offers a handful of sweet smelling grain.
Filled with pride, not of arrogance, but of knowing I have done my masters will and that He acknowledges me for what I am, I jump to all fours. Head thrust high I trot out of town and straight for home.
If only I could sing.
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