“It’s ready!” the sweet barista sets the mug in front of me. Whip settles on the foam and caramel drizzle runs ribbons disappearing into the cinnamon latte depths. I express my gratitude, smile, reach toward the warm mug.
I’m ready too.
I lean in, toward the latte, toward conversation.
Flickers from the gas fireplace combine with Christmas tree twinkle lights and cast cozy to every corner.
“If you were part of the cast of characters who heralded the birth of Christ, who would you want to be? A shepherd, a Wiseman, perhaps an angel? Innkeeper, who actually isn’t even mentioned in the Bible. Hmmm. A resident in Bethlehem? Midwife? Or someone else we might imagine could have been there?”
I direct the question to my friend.
“Oh, great question!”
She sips her mocha, tilts her head, brow furrowed in concentration.
I think too.
Was anyone really ready?
Did even Mary fully comprehend the starring role she’d been assigned in this sequence of story started at the genesis of the world?
Joseph’s life had certainly detoured hard left. Who of us is ever ready when life spins us around?
See the shepherds? Another day leading sheep, meandering to grass, counting the frolicking lambs.
The Wisemen most likely packed for a journey. Yet, could they have felt fully prepared? Their only direction, a star-shaped global positioning system with the vague knowledge of visiting a king.
Toss in a whole Roman empire ordered to register for a census. Multitudes of citizens readying to trek to the town of their birth. Sounds like a cacophony of grumbling and mayhem and weary, grumpy people forced on a journey they weren’t particularly thrilled about. Especially as the underlying theme of the census was all about dollars and taxation.
The angels, oh, the angels! I think they were more than ready. They’d been waiting, wondering, watching. They’d practiced the hallelujahs, sung the chords, polished the trumpets. Rehearsed their parts, hummed in unison, ran through it again.
Adjusted, adapted, arranged.
Memorized every flat, sharp, and high note.
Discussed wording and rejoiced over the good news of great joy.
Endless rehearsals and, oh, they were ready for opening night!
My friend’s debating between a shepherd and an imaginary character in the Bethlehem region.
I look in my mug at the coffee cinnamon swirl. I’m still imagining.
Did anyone bring Mary a hot drink? Did kind hands ready the swaddling clothes? Find soup for Joseph? Bring warm water and towels? Run four doors over to find the doctor? Brave the crowd of returning kinsmen to collect another blanket and bucket of water?
Yes, I think so.
I believe there were people ready to make things ready.
For I’ve noticed in this world there are always people ready to provide support, offer solace, live as people who welcome.
Hot drinks included.
Comrades ~ what character would you choose to be in this Story of all Stories?