The Midwife’s Tale Part Five
The Midwife’s Tale Part Five
Joseph smiled, then raised the child over his head. He closed his eyes and looked toward heaven.
“Elohenu.” Blessed are You, O Lord our God.
I smiled, eyes closed. He was praying the traditional Passover blessing over his child.
“Thank You for entrusting us with this gift from You, Yahweh. You have favored us with Your presence in the form of this child. We will raise him and train him to hear You. He is Emmanuel, and He will save His people.”
I was spellbound with this dedication of the child to God. I knelt before them, my heart full and my eyes overflowing with tears. I may not know much about the ways of God, but at that moment I knew I was in His presence as never before. And for perhaps the first time in my life, I was speechless.
I don’t know how long I knelt there, praising God in my heart. All I know for sure is that when I finally stirred, the sun was peeking over the eastern gate.
I rose stiffly, knees protesting the hours spent on the floor. Mary and Joseph slept side by side on the hay, and the infant lay in a manger, wrapped in some old cloths Joseph had found tucked in a small box. When he’d first pulled out the lengths of rough cloth, I’d been appalled that he would be content to wrap his child in cloths used to rub down newborn lambs. I’d even offered to go to my house and bring back some proper baby clothes.
Joseph shook his head. “Scripture says Emmanuel will come like a lamb to save His people. It seems fitting He should be wrapped in lamb’s cloths.”
A child sent as a lamb? It didn’t make any sense to me. Lambs were used as sacrifices and Jews don’t sacrifice their children, so I knew he didn’t mean that. “How can this child be like a lamb of God?”
“All I know is what God has told us. This child will save His people.”
Outside the stable, I heard the sound of footsteps. I walked toward the opening of the cave and peered out.
Several men dressed in shepherd’s garb paused outside the stable. They looked into the dawn sky and then back to the stable.
The oldest one spoke. “Is this where the Christ child can be found?”
Christ child? I knew about the Christ child. The one promised who would set the Jews free, who would operate in the anointing of God.
“What do you know of this child?”
One of the shepherds stepped forward. “An angel appeared to us while we were standing watch over our sheep. He told us to come here to see the Christ.” He gestured to his fellow shepherds. “Then more angels sang the child’s praises.”
More angels. This couldn’t be any ordinary baby. I looked into the night sky. A large star shone upon the stable. “Is that how you came to be here?”
The youngest nodded. “The angel told us to look for a bright star that would point us to the child, and that He would be wrapped up like a lamb.”
Lamb’s rags. I pointed to the baby inside. “He is in there.”
I wandered out into the courtyard area, listening to the sounds of the city coming awake for another day. I felt sorry for the people. I was pretty sure they had missed a miracle.
Don’t get me wrong. As a midwife, I know every birth is a miracle. As a Jew, I believe the scriptures that say we are created by God, formed by His hand, known from our mother’s womb.
No, the miracle I’m talking about is that God would come to his people in the form of a tiny child, a lamb, to set His people free.
I know a big part of me was set free that night.
I’m going to keep an eye on this Christ-child. I think He is destined to something bigger than His parents, these shepherds, even I can imagine.
And I want to be there when that happens.