Joseph, a man full of God’s Grace.
Mary and Joseph and Donkey at the table, keeping warm by the Advent Candle whirligig .
Advent needed a little explanation !!
Saturday 3rd. Thanks to the emergency hostelry at the Rectory – Mary, Joseph and Donkey were able to sleep in safety despite the intended hosts not arriving to pick them up. No satisfactory excuses – I forgot. When the Rector phoned, I was out at a concert. By the time I returned it was very late and I felt it too rude to phone. Happily the Rector said he would deliver Mary Joseph and Donkey to me at Clenston church.
We were pleased to see Mary, Joseph and Donkey sat happily on the altar cloth and kept warm by the candles and with a good view of what would unfold at the service. A thought flashed through my mind as I sat at the organ. The popular modern song “The Little Drummer Boy” has a verse wherein it says “ I played my best for Him”. I’m sure the congregation sang with their hearts too, it certainly was with feeling. After the service there were drinks and something to eat. Mary Joseph and Donkey seemed very content with that.
Upon arrival at home Mary Joseph and Donkey were placed by the Advent Candle; a merry-go-round with shepherds, sheep, kings and a camel and gifts.
Some old woodworking tools were in our shed and I placed these near our guests. Joseph seemed to be looking intently at these tools. I looked hard at Joseph and thought how gracious he was. We don’t know exactly what he thought at that time but he was determined to stand by Mary whatever happened. He had chosen to leave his job and work and friends to accompany Mary in a long and dangerous journey. I then heard myself asking Joseph if he missed his work and his tools. His reply went straight to my heart. He explained that the tools and skills he had were gifts from God, that he could make something new or he could mend things that were broken and both gave him and his customers great pleasure. That was his greatest reward, the pleasure from purposeful hard work, seeing other people’s joy.
He also explained that his ancestors had broken things. Among these were broken promises. His faith was steadfast in the belief that, given the right tools, all of us can always make amends. Looking at Joseph I could see the tools needed.
I wiped a tear from my eye and Joseph noticed. He said that being sorry was probably the first stage and washing ones eyes was a good way to see the light- the way ahead.
That made me smile. This honest, humble and dedicated man had read my hurt at letting him, Mary and the Donkey down the previous evening. He finished with such a gracious statement. “This is our path. We are glad to be here and your home is one we gladly share. With God, all will be well.”
I mouthed the words “Thank you”. It was all I could do. It was all that was needed.