Starry Night

She really didn't expect tonight to be any different from the other 365 days that year. Getting water from the well, pounding out the bread dough, picking up Joseph's sandals he had left in the middle of the room.

It seemed night came too quickly these days. Her youngster was so curious, getting into everything. She would have just picked up the last of the olives scattered all over the floor when he'd be reaching high for a knife on the counter and need diversion. Never time to sit down and ponder.

So when she had a few minutes to herself that night, babe tucked in among soft cloths, husband not yet home from an important meeting, she wasn't quite sure what to do with herself. She set down the hand towel and walked toward the open door.

It was very dark. But the sky was littered with stars. She felt almost wrapped up in their embrace, held in their gentle cocoon. She let them cradle her heart as she reflected upon the last few months. Heaven had felt very close. God's Gift slept in her own home. How could it be?

She was chosen. Their home was chosen. She glanced up to the sky above their flat roof. She knew it would still be there. That brilliant, extra-bright star that had led the shepherds to see her newborn babe still shone. How long would it stay with them, she wondered?

Stars. Companions. Guiding lights.

Little did she know that stars would soon be her only comfort in a hurried journey to a place of refuge. Packing up her few possessions was the farthest thing from her mind. Visiting angels? No...those were things of the past.

It was her last night in Bethlehem, but there she stood, resting in the warm glow of starlight. On that very starry night.