Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Inn Keeper

Yes, they came to my inn at Bethlehem, and how well I remember the couple; it seems but yesterday.
He was a manly sort of man, the kind that would cause you to look again if you saw him once.
Kindly and dignified, with long beard, a strong man with quiet manners. There was something that charmed me about the woman who was with him, and - well, I just can't tell you- 

Anyway, one could see that she might soon become a mother.It rather worried me that I didn't have a place for them, but so many had come for the registration, you know. Sanballat, rich merchant, had come down from Damascus; Thaddeus, one of my old customers, had come up from Gaza. A party from Hebron came just at nightfall, and since I knew them all I could not turn them away. Joseph told me that he was from Nazareth, up in the hill country of Galilee. He thought of course, he could have a place to stay, and as he asked me he looked toward Mary, and knew that I would understand.

I did understand, and I tried to think which of the men I should ask to move and make place for the couple. But how could I ask these customers of mine to inconvenience themselves? After all, I did not know Joseph and Mary. I said to myself, O well, somebody will look after them; I must not disturb the others, and it is a beautiful star-lit night. Here I have it, finally I said to myself, we can make room for them in the manger, and someway they will get along. I have wondered a lot about them since they have gone. He was a manly sort of man, with his long beard, and dignified look, and quiet manners. And the woman, she was like a princess. 

I wish now that I had said to the men in my inn, we must make a place for this man and this woman from Galilee! But I didn't, and I am sorry. They might, after all, have been people of consequence.

Oliver M. Keve

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