yay and caught up
Yannick sat on the hillside—alone. The darkness seemed deeper than before and even the stars seemed dull and boring. Except for that new one which hung over the town, almost as bright as day where it shone. Ever since those shiny sky people appeared singing and raving about a baby born in town—in a stable of all places—nothing had been the same. Everyone had rushed off to see if the story was true. Everyone apart from him. He had to stay here and look after the stupid sheep.
Being the only kid still living at home sucked some times. No make that all the time. Yannick do this. Yannick do that. Yannick go make up the 20 rooms for the unexpected guests this census has brought us. Yannick go feed the animals. Yannick go help your brother with the sheep tonight. Yannick stay here while we go see and see this Saviour who’s been born.
Dawn broke. Strange...that star still shone, bright as anything. Where was everyone? Yannick sat up straight. Was that singing? Over the brow of the hill, came the shepherds. Arms linked and yes they were singing. Yannick shook his head. They lied to him. Made him stay here so they could go get drunk. That was it. He stood up. “I’m going home.”
His brother looked at him. “Mum wants you anyway. Load of work to do at the inn, but you should have seen it. Just like they said. It’s amazing. The baby, the manger...” He began singing the angel’s song again.
Yannick scowled. “Yeah, right. Save it for someone who cares.” He stomped off down the hillside. Anything, even working his fingers to the bone in the inn, would be better than sitting here doing nowt but listening to a load of drunk people singing. He kicked the stone out of the way as he walked. Biggest thing to have hit Bethlehem since the census was announced and he misses it. Ducking and diving his way through the packed streets he made his way to the inn. Packed to the rafters, the noise was incredible.
He ducked inside and made his way to the kitchen. “Mam!”
She appeared with a tray in her hand. “Glad you’re here. Take this to the stable Couple staying in there—turned up on the doorstep last night. Would have turned them away but the young girl was in labour and there was nowhere else for them to go. She had a baby last night. She could probably do with some food. Take this out to them, see if they need anything else. Could probably fetch the midwife to check her over too. Midwife never got there last night...too many other paying babes to birth than fuss over one that couldn’t pay.”
Yannick took the tray. “If they can’t pay the midwife then...”
“It’s paid for tell them. Some bloke last night gave enough cash for board and lodging for them. Soon as we have space I’ll move them inside. Be quick about it. Don’t know what all this fuss is over. It’s a babe. Women have been having them for years. It doesn’t warrant all these visitors especially in the middle of the night.”
Yannick disappeared with the tray, his mother still talking as he left. He loved her to bits, but she sure did yak on and on at times. He headed out the back, best not to argue with her when she was in one of those moods.
Wait a minute... Visitors...baby...stable...Could it be what those shiny sky people were going on about.
He glanced up and shook his head. No...and that star wasn’t shining straight down on him either. He reached the stable and crept inside. “I’ve brought you some food.” He stopped short. There really was a baby lying in the manger too.
A tall man came over to him. He took the tray. “Thank you. I’m Joseph...this is my wife Mary. Thank you for this. How much do we owe now?”
“Nothing...some bloke already paid. Mum says he paid board and lodging so soon as she can she’s moving you inside. He also paid for the midwife to come over later and check you both.” He looked back at the baby.
Mary smiled at him. “Want to see him?”
Yannick crept closer. A stab of disappointment filled him. It was just a baby. Couldn’t be the same one all the fuss was over. Not worth the singing and dancing if it was. “He’s cute. What’s his name?”
“We called him Jesus. You can hold him if you like.”
Yannick picked up the baby.
Mary smiled. “You're the first person to hold him other than us.”
“Really? Thank you. He’s so tiny.”
Joseph smiled. “But he’ll grow up to be a saviour like they promised.”
Yannick looked up. “So this is him? The one the sky people sang about? I thought after all the fuss he’d be bigger or shiner or different, but he’s just a baby.”
The baby opened his eyes and looked directly at Yannick. Those fathomless, bright eyes peered deep into his soul.
Yannick gasped. Those eyes were so old, he knew without a doubt who he was holding. He slowly dropped to his knees. “My Lord,” he whispered. “Those shiny sky people were right.”