Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Patience (08/21/08)
- TITLE: In Due Time
By Carole Robishaw
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“I’m coming, I’m not as fast as I used to be.”
“Oh Papa, look at how perfect the lambs are, no blemish to be found, pure white, as God demands.”
“Yes, son of my son, they are perfect. We would never allow a blemished lamb to be taken to the Temple for sacrifice.”
I wish I could forget her face, but I will never be able to stop thinking of the pain I saw.
Such memories I have of a child that was born here, long ago, while I was but a young boy working with my father, here in the lambing caves. It is so confusing. It was that same face, it was her, again, I’m positive; she was so young, so beautiful. Forced to birth the child here, in the Temple lambing caves.
“Papa, I can’t wait till I am old enough to help take the lambs to the Temple to be sold for the sacrifices. It is such a wonderful job, to be in charge of the perfect lambs.”
“It is an important job. You have to guard them the whole way there. They have to be as perfect when they arrive as when they leave here.”
What was she doing, on that hill? They only take criminals there, the worst kind of criminals. Why would she have been kneeling before that man hanging on the tree? Would that have been the same child, grown now, she birthed here?
“Papa, I’m very good with my slingshot, I would do a good job of keeping the wild animals from attacking the lambs. I was able to hold off that wolf in the pasture long enough for father to come. Surely I’m old enough, and big enough, do you think they will let me help on the next trip to the Temple?”
“Maybe, boy, we’ll have to wait and see.”
It has been several years now, since I saw her again, and I’m still trying to find the answers. I hear rumors. Stories of things he did, of who he was, that He was God, the Son of God. I want to know the truth of the matter, when will I find the answers?
I remember such strange things happening after the birth, lights in the sky. It was like the stars themselves were celebrating. Everyone was so excited. I remember strange tales being told, some believed them, but my father said it was foolishness, refused to allow them to be spoken of in our home.
I have always wondered, and wanted to know the truth of that night.
“Papa, what are you thinking of, I have been trying to ask you about our meal. I’m very hungry.”
“No, boy, it’s too early. You’re always thinking of food. Look on the bushes, see if you can find some berries the birds missed.”
Strangers came after the birth, they were seeking him, they called him a King. They were important men, from the way they dressed. I heard they brought gifts for the child. I was so young, my memories are so strong, but confused. Who can I find that can answer my questions. Why will no one talk to me of it? I just want to find out what really happened.
I remember that other terrible night, not long after the strangers came. That terrible night that all the babies were killed. My baby brother was one of them. Father said it was their fault, the family that had the baby in the lambing cave. He said they must have done something very wrong, or Bethlehem never would have been punished so by the Roman soldiers. We have always been a peaceful town, known for the Temple lambs we raised here.
“Oh, look, Papa, the head shepherd is coming. Can we ask if I can help with the Temple lambs?”
“Not now, boy, in due time we’ll know.” “Good day, Samuel.”
“Good day to you Jacob. Joshua, I was just talking to your father about possible future plans for you. Jacob, we have visitors in the village, travelers, one of them, a tentmaker by trade, has asked to have a meeting this evening. He would like to discuss this man they call the Christ with us. Will you come?”
“Yes, we will be there. I would like to hear about him.”
Yes, it would appear that all things are indeed answered in due time.
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