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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.


The Batmobile

George Barris leaves behind a legacy of custom cars.

George Barris, the legendary custom car builder who created television’s original Batmobile and helped define California’s car culture with colorfully designed vehicles ranging from the stunningly beautiful to the simply outrageous, died Thursday. He was 89.

His most famous creations, such as the Ala Kart and the Hirohata Merc, remain instantly recognizable on the car collector circuit to this day.

The most famous of all, the Batmobile, built from a refurbished 1955 Lincoln Futura, sold at auction two years ago for $4.2 million. Learn more.


Centuries-old Burial Vaults Discovered

Recently work crews discovered two burial vaults under a street in New York.

Two centuries-old burial vaults discovered beneath a street in the heart of New York University’s campus by workers replacing a water main were likely part of a Presbyterian church cemetery, an archaeologist said Thursday. Learn more.


One Expensive Biscuit

Imagine a cracker that is over one hundred years old and very high priced.

This is one biscuit that’s worth a whole lot of dough.

A cracker that survived the sinking of the Titanic was sold for $22,968 at an auction in England.

The Spillers and Bakers Pilot cracker, from a lifeboat survival pack, was dubbed by auctioneer Andrew Aldridge the “world’s most valuable biscuit.” Learn more.


How The States Were Named

Have you ever wondered how our states were named? This article provides a general overview of the naming process.

Colorado is a Spanish adjective that means “red.” The early Spanish explorers in the Rocky Mountain region named a river they found the Rio Colorado for the reddish silt that the water carried down from the mountains. When Colorado became a territory in 1861, the Spanish word was used as a name because it was commonly thought that the Rio Colorado originated in the territory. This was not the case, however. Prior to 1921, the Colorado River began where the Green River of Utah and the Grand River of Colorado converged outside of Moab, Utah, and the United States Geological Survey identified Green River of Wyoming as the Colorado’s actual headwaters. The Rio Colorado did not actually flow through Colorado until 1921, when House Joint Resolution 460 of the 66th United States Congress changed the name of the Grand River. Learn more.


Farmers In The Great Depression

This article is an interesting one.

October is harvest month, and with it comes the celebration of food and those who grow it.

In the course of American history, no one has documented the life of the farmer better than the photographers of the Farm Security Administration and Office of War Information during the Great Depression. Learn more.


Go Set A Watchman

Lee Harper’s second novel Go Set A Watchman was released last month. This article is an interesting look back on her life as an author.

“All I want to be is the Jane Austen of Southern Alabama,” Harper Lee told Roy Newquist in a taped radio conversation in 1964, her last formal interview. Lee greatly exceeded that wish with Mockingbird.  In the decades that followed its publication, Mockingbird has sold over 40 million copies, has been translated into over 40 languages and is required reading for many middle school students in the United States and beyond. Learn more.


Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Civil Rights Message

An earlier version of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech has recently be recovered.

Before the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech to hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Washington in 1963, he fine-tuned his civil rights message before a much smaller audience in North Carolina. Learn more.


Creating Characters

Creating characters for our stories can be a fun adventure. This author shares her story on how she creates characters.

I often remember that long-ago moment, cradling my infant in awe and wonder, when I create new characters.
The basics, we all know, are dictated by genre: A murder mystery requires a victim, a criminal, and a crime-solver; a romance needs the boy who gets the girl.

But how does one simple label become a living character in our imaginations and in our readers’ hearts? Learn more.


Nuggets of Ideas

We recently returned from a research trip to California, where we stayed in a bed-and-breakfast situation, sharing meals with our host family. They were a delightful couple, and during one of our conversations, she mentioned she’d been working on a short story for a number of years. I asked some questions, and finally she admitted it was more a novella, because it was too long for a short story. When I suggested perhaps it was truly a novel, which was why she was struggling to finish it, she said she didn’t think she could never write a full-length novel.

When I confided that I write novels, she wanted to know where I got my ideas. I told her my ideas come to me because I’m always looking for another idea for another book.

So I shared with her – as I’m sharing with you now – where I get my ideas. Try out a few. We have about a month left in the summer, and the weather is perfect for getting out and about.

So where do I look for ideas? Learn more.