Joseph and Mary began their long journey to Bethlehem with a old donkey, a basket of bread and a flask of water. And, yes, a small bag of coins. Joseph hoped there would be enough to pay the taxes Rome required, with a small amount remaining for necessities along the way.*
The road was long and arduous; over hills and across the river Jordan. Mary, being close to delivering her baby, found travel difficult, bouncing and joggling along on an aging and boney donkey. But, walking would have been out of the question.
They arrived in Bethlehem late at night, hoping to find lodging. The stars above were as numerous, it seemed, as the masses journeying to their ancestral home. Something told Joseph it would be nigh to impossible to find a place for Mary to rest. The birth pangs were closer together now. "Father, help us! Open up a room, a stable, SOME place for my love."
The odd couple trudged into town, Mary sitting on the donkey, head bowed, exhausted and ready to close her eyes in sleep. Joseph, many years her elder, showed himself tall, straight and strong.
Door after wooden door closed in their faces. Innkeeper after unbending innkeeper said the same thing, "No room". How could there be no room for the Son of God?
But, haven't we left Elohim out in the cold? Going our own stubborn way? Saying, "There is no room in my heart today!" Yes, sadly, it's true...
-from "Christmas Musings" by Jarm Del Boccio ©2012
* Of course, no one really knows the details of that night. I have painted a word picture of what could have been.