Joseph gave the sawdust a quick blow and grinned widely as he studied his work. He ran his fingers lovingly along the sides of the crib. It was almost done. What was left was just a quick varnish to seal the woodwork.
Just in time for the baby.
Would this humble crib be good enough for a King? Would Baby Jesus be comfortable sleeping in it?
He mused as he gave the crib a gentle rock and imagined Mary singing a lullaby as she put the baby to sleep.
In the past few months, they had been industriously preparing for the Child’s coming. Mary had been busy weaving little garments and swaddling clothes for the Child. He had also made a chest for the baby’s clothes and toys.
Since the day that the Angel had revealed to him the mystery of God made flesh to dwell amongst them, the air at home was charged with joyful anticipation. He could scarcely believe that God had chosen their humble family. They were certainly not rich by worldly standards.
In his excitement, he had even carved a driedel (spinning top) out of leftover wood.
“But Joseph, it would take a few years before our boy can learn play with it! ”
Mary was tickled pink when he showed it to her the other day.
"I 'd be there to teach him! " he had feigned indignation while battling a grin.
On a more pensive note, he added.
"I wonder if we even need to teach him anything?"
He studied her face , radiant with joy as she smiled back at him and cradled her tummy.
As the eldest child, Joseph had seen his own mother pregnant with his younger siblings. He had never thought it possible that a pregnant woman could look beautiful. Yet as Mary ballooned, she seemed more radiant by the day.
Looking at her peaceful disposition, one could easily mistake her to know no suffering.
However Joseph knew, belying her gentle smile , there was a sadness at being misunderstood.
Though Joseph had taken her home, tongues still continued to wag. A couple of times, he had caught her wiping her tears discreetly when she returned from the market or the village well. He was cut to the heart and wished he could take it all away.
As surely the Lord lives, I shall protect Mary and the Child to my last breath.
Joseph thought fiercely to himself as he left the little work shed to wash himself for lunch.