'Please, Mary. Ride on the donkey. If you keep walking you'll have the baby beside the road.'
'The donkey's back is so hard.'
Joseph rummaged in his bag and pulled out another coat. Folding it, he placed it on the donkey's back and lifted his wife. 'I'll walk beside you. Lean on me, but lets keep moving.'
Can you imagine trying to sit on a donkey when in the early stages of labour? I guess the discomfort took her mind off the baby. She must have had so many questions.
Her baby was a boy, she was sure of that. But what would the son of God look like? Would he look like her or like his Father? And what did his Father look like? She had never seen God. Yes, the angel said God would overshadow her and she would become pregnant, but my guess is she didn't even know when that had happened, much less get a glimpse of the baby's Father.
So when the Son of God emerged from her womb into the smelly stable, like any mother, she must have grabbed him and studied him carefully. Not to count fingers and toes, but to see...to see God. Mary was the first person to come face to face with God. I can imagine her gazing with awe and wonder.
And then he opened His eyes. She connected with the King of Kings, not body to body but soul to soul, spirit to Spirit. It took her breathe away.
'He has His Father's eyes.'
Joseph looked over her shoulder at the baby. 'What do you mean?'
'His eyes. They are so deep, pure, clear. It's like he looked into my very heart and I could see into His heart. Never before have I seen such love. Oh, He is the Son of God!'
Her baby squirmed and she lifted him to her breast. He latched onto her nipple and sucked. 'He loves me, Joseph. I saw it in His eyes. He loves me.'
'The angel told me that he would save the people from their sins.' Joseph stroked the cheek of the feeding infant. 'I guess He loves everyone, Mary, everyone.'
The moment was broken by a slight tap on the wall of the stable. 'There He is. Just as the angels said.' The shepherds were panting hard. 'Sorry Ma'am, we ran all the way. Did you know your baby is the Messiah?'
Baby Jesus stirred and opened His eyes.
Mary pulled back the cloths so the shepherds could see. 'I know. Look. He has His Father's eye's - eyes of love.'