Historical setting: 561 C.E. Gaul
Why do these old-time earthy details of numbers and politics even matter? All anyone needs to know is that the angels sang, the shepherds searched and the baby Jesus was found. God is with us, so what else matters?
The last berries of autumn and the honey and cream are delivered to the table in the dark by Eve—now fully unveiled; and one child asks for light in this darkness.
“Aunt Enola, do you remember we made candles from the wax of the honeycombs? We took that wax and wrapped it around a stem for burning. Do you not have a candle yet?”
“Of course I do. But I have them set aside.”
“We should have a candle now to light our table together here.” Celeste suggests it. Eve wants to dismiss it.
“I keep the candles in my bag to take to the sick. When I am called out in the night I might need a candle at a bedside.”
I ask the hard question. “Did you save no candles for people who are well?” Eve accepts her father’s query as reprimand and obediently lights a candle for the center of the table. The flicker pours light spreading from core flowing out a spilled goblet of light flooding onto the table and the people and onto all the faces — all the smiling faces and shining eyes – all of us together.
It’s Daniel’s childish truth-telling that reminds us this family finds the miracle this very night and tonight we each have eyes for seeing it.
“Aunt Enola, you have such a beautiful face tonight.”
“No, she’s the same, Daniel.” Celeste explains it factually. “Maybe you just never saw her smiling.”
All eyes are on Eve. Even Coletta leans forward to see passed Ezra. And Eve is still smiling, barefaced, scars and all, aglow in the flickering light.
“Yes Eve, you are indeed my beautiful child.”
Thank you God. Amen.
(The story continues tomorrow – Merry Christmas)