“So, listen, the way I see it, we can strain the manure through a bunch of straw, dry it out and then burn it.”
“Sidney, are you spreading your nonsense theories around again.”
“Mona, I’m explaining to Rodney here, my ideas for heating this place.”
“All you two losers do is drink all day and suck on straws. If I didn’t have to be here I would go home to mama.”
Sidney shuffled his feet. “Well there’s the door, help yerself.”
“You’d like that too,” Mona dusted the rails around the room.”
“Come on Rodney, let’s move over here a little, so miss fuss budget can do her thing.”
The two men scooted to a corner of the room and began to speak in muffled tones.
“Hush you two, there’s somebody coming.” Mona backed up into the dark.
Heavy feet approached the doorway to where Mona, Sidney, and Rodney stood.
A husky man’s voice echoed through the room. “You two Nazarenes camp in here out the weather. It’s at least better than sleeping on the ground outside. Next time send word ahead and I’ll hold a room.”
“Thank you kind sir.” A second man’s voice appeared in the room. ”This will do."
There was more shuffling then the husky voice said, “Here’s a torch dipped in wax and oil, it’ll last a little while. Make sure you leave it in the stable tomorrow morning or my men will come looking for you.” He apparently lit the small torch and set it on a sconce on the wall.
“Oh my.” Mona gasped.
Sidney edged forward. “What is it?”
Mona whispered, “the woman is with child, and it looks like she could deliver anytime soon.”
“Oh, good grief, that’s all we need in this stable, is a crying child. We’ll never get any sleep.”
Mona glared at Sidney. “Hush up. Just move back a bit.”
The husky voice coughed then said, “I’ll be in the inn if you need anything, but don’t come knocking if there is no light.”
“Again, thank you sir.” The other man’s almost soft tones interested Mona.
Mona watched as the man helped the woman lean against a pile of straw. “I think the baby is about to be born. But, something is different here. Look, Sidney. Look at the stars, so bright.
While Sydney and Rodney looked out at the stars the screaming tones of a newborn baby broke the stillness. And, the small stable lit up like it was day. Mona stepped back pushing Sydney and Rodney as she moved.
The woman tore strips of cloth from her own garments and wrapped the baby. The baby quieted and the new mother rested on the straw and with the baby in her arms.
A short time later Mona woke Sydney and Rodney. “Some more people are coming.”
And to the entrance of the stable stepped a group of shepherds. “Rodney, it’s shepherds, do you suppose they came to rob these people?”
But, the shepherds spoke, and began telling the couple about angels and the glory of God. And, how they had hurried to Bethlehem to see this child of whom the angels spoke, so that they might be in the presence of the Savior, as the Angel had said the baby is Christ the Lord.
Mona, Sidney, and Rodney stared over the wooden rails. The single torch light in the small stable filled the room. The stable, a veritable hole in the rock with strewn timbers and straw, warmed.
Mona nudged Sidney, “and, they ain’t burning manure.”
One of the shepherds stepped forward, “and the angel said, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” (NIV) And the group of shepherds knelt at the opening of the stable.
Mona nudged Sydney. “I wish we could kneel like that.” The Glory of the Lord filled even the animals in the stable, and all who were there knew that Christ was born on that night.
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