Christmas Is For The Innocent

Lamb

(Image Credit New York Daily News)

Several years ago I came across this story published in the New York Daily News by Karen Zautyk. She is a former Editorial Board member there who originally wrote this for her father John. I think it captures the essence of Christmas being – most of all – for the innocent. I posted this a year ago and received some wonderful feedback.

Regardless of your religious beliefs I believe there is a life lesson within for all of us that cries out…we are all unique…and not alone.

O, Little Lamb…Who Made Thee?

It was cold in the stable that night and the animals were huddled together for warmth. The cows and the oxen and the donkeys.

And one little lamb.

Sad, scrawny little lamb, born lame and frail. Too frail to be out with the flock in the fields. The shepherds had carried it into the stable where it would be safe from the wind and the wolves, for both the wolves and the wind came down from the hills with fierceness in the wintertime.

The lamb had food and shelter but that was not enough. It was lonely. Separated from its mother, it felt unloved. The other animals tried to be kind but they had no time. During the day they were busy working. The cows had milk to make, the oxen had earth to plow and the donkeys had carts to pull.

At night they were all very tired. They’d feed upon the fodder and then go right to bed. None would talk, none would play. None would even sing a lullaby to a lamb that needed comfort. Every night the lamb would cry, and be told to hush, for its bleats disturbed their sleep.

Thus, that night, the lamb cried without making a sound as it had learned to do. And it looked at the strangers who were sharing the stable.  At the man, who held the woman’s hand and spoke to her so softly. And especially at the woman, who spoke not at all.

Huddled together, the animals slept, and eventually the lamb slept too.

And the night was silent.

But then, in the darkest hour, there was no more darkness and no more silence. There was the cry of a baby. And the stable shone with the brightest of lights and there were voices ringing in the air.

The animals, shaken from their dreams, were frightened. They stamped their hooves and tossed their heads and made their frightened-animal noises…but the light was so lovely and the voices so beautiful it wasn’t long before they quieted and began to lose their fear.

And when the light had dimmed to a glow and the voices were only an echo, there in the manger they saw the baby…and their eyes went wide with wonder.

The animals murmured but would not approach until the woman beckoned. Then, one by one, the beasts came forward. All, that is, except the lamb…which was only a baby itself and still terribly afraid. Forgotten by the others it trembled in a corner and tried to hide beneath the hay.

But the baby in the manger was trembling too. The cold of the night had returned and the baby had started to shiver. When the animals saw this they huddled closer about the crib.

The man took off his cloak and made a blanket of it, but the cloak was thin and threadbare and provided little warmth. The woman held the baby to her breast. He shivered still…and she began to weep.

And the lamb, which knew what weeping meant, lifted itself from the hay. Though it was still afraid…it left its hiding place. It made its way among the legs of the bigger beasts until it stood beside the woman…and it laid its head against her knee.

And the softest of hands reached down and stroked its wool.

And the gentlest of hands picked it up and tucked it into the manger straw…and tucked the baby in beside it…and covered them both with the cloak. The baby snuggled near and smiled…and closed his eyes.

And the lamb was very glad it had learned to cry without making a sound. Because it was crying now and didn’t want to wake the child.

But the lamb wasn’t crying because it was sad. It was crying because, at last, it didn’t feel alone. Or afraid. Or unloved.

Then the lamb closed its eyes too.

And the woman sang a lullaby.

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About sportsattitudes

I'm Bruce. Born, raised and still outside the City of Brotherly Love. Managed (so far) to visit a dozen of our United States and Canada (twice). Addicted from birth to Television/Movies/Sports. Took three years of French and got credit for two of 'em.
This entry was posted in Christianity, Christmas, Faith, Holidays, Personal, Religion, Spirituality and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to Christmas Is For The Innocent

  1. Jennie says:

    So wonderful. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. aFrankAngle says:

    Wonderful, but new to me. The event from the lamb’s perspective is very creative and thought provoking. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So glad you posted this again. Beautiful
    Wrapping up the holiday season with this…
    Waiting for sunset on Christmas Eve is like standing toes-over-the-edge on a high diving board.
    Every year we’d cruise casually by the window to keep an eye on the sun’s progress until it was officially evening.
    Then the shout “Christmas Eve Gift!” would ring out.
    You see, the traditions says that the first person to voice that phrase on Christmas Eve to another would be graced with good fortune and joy all the next year.
    (And of course, whomever was first won. Everything was a contest…)
    It’s more difficult to be first now with caller ID.
    As all those who have become my friends in blogland are spread widely across time zones, I’d like to wish you all “Christmas Eve Gift” now.
    And as I already feel so fortunate to have such wonderful readers and writers in this neighborhood, I wish to share any phrase acquired good fortune and joy with you in thanks.
    No matter where you are or what you are guided by, hope you have a very merry Christmas and a new year full of adventure and joy.
    Peace on earth and goodwill towards all creatures great and small.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A very Merry Christmas to you and family, Bruce. Wishing you every good wish. :O)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, this is just fantastic. Thank you for sharing it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. lindamowles says:

    Thank you for liking The Ruminant Scribe’s post on “Some Children See Him” and “I heard the bells on Christmas Day”. I appreciate your stopping by my site. I am especially grateful because your Like prompted me to come to your site and read this beautiful story. What a beautiful way to depict what could have happened that Christmas Night. And what a beautiful way to depict each of us as we lay crying, afraid and separate from each other only to be brought into reconciliation with our Father by the birth of the Babe. Thanks so much for posting this.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. garym6059 says:

    Merry belated Christmas to you and your family. Lovely little story that I will now have to bookmark. Did you get your Clay Bucholz autographed jersey from Santa?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. ChgoJohn says:

    Beautiful, Bruce. I hope your Christmas was memorable in the best way and that 2017 brings you and yours nothing but joy, peace, and good health.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Lovely. While not related to the Christmas season, one year when we did animal rescue, we had a preemie goat kid (the last of a triplet birth) linger on and on as he just had such a will to live…so I could see the story you recounted in my mind’s eye of experience as well. Thanks for this and for it recalling a pleasant memory of those animal rescue days.
    (http://laurabrunolilly.com/i-will-live/)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Steph McCoy says:

    I remember this one from last year and it’s still as moving as it was the first time I read it. Thanks for sharing this again.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Christmas is for kids! The rest of us just come to eat….

    Liked by 1 person

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