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Rekindled Heart

by Allison Egley  
12/23/2014 / Holidays

There I was, just sitting there, watching the sheep along with my dad and the other shepherds. It started out a normal night. It ended anything but. The first thing we noticed were the sheep were acting kind of strange. Like they were anticipating something. And I guess they were, because the next thing we knew, there was an angel standing in front of us.

"Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

Then, a multitude of angels appeared in front of us. It's a good thing this started with just one angel who told us not to be afraid, because I'm pretty sure, had the multitude appeared first with no warning, we all would have all died from shock before they could even say "do not be afraid."

The angels were praising God and saying "Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased."

We all started talking about how we had to see this child in Bethlehem. But then my dad told me I had to stay behind with the sheep. Someone had to keep watch, he said. And since I'm the youngest, it was me.

I tried to pretend I didn't care. I mean, what teenage boy wants to see a baby, right? But even after the rest of them left, that feeling that the angels left in my heart just wouldn't leave. I knew I had to see this baby, somehow, someway. But if I left, some of the sheep would surely parish. And I couldn't exactly take one-hundred sheep with me through the streets of Bethlehem. Not only would that eliminate any possibility of sneaking around, but there was also no way I could get all one-hundred sheep to follow me.

I tried to put it out of my head, but I just couldn't. What if this child really was the one? The Miracle Child? The... dare I even say the word? Messiah. It was worth the risk. I got the sheep in the pen, and headed towards Bethlehem. I really wasn't sure where I was heading, but somehow I knew this feeling in my heart would lead me there. I was right. I saw the other shepherds and the Child with His mom and dad. I hung back, hoping my dad wouldn't see me, but even from a distance, I could do nothing but kneel before this Child in awe, worship, and reverence. The feeling I had intensified, until I thought my heart would burst. Tears filled my eyes. I wondered what was in store for this Child, if He really was the One.

When I got back to the sheep that night, a few sheep had indeed perished, as I predicted, but Dad understood. And I couldn't help but wonder. A few sheep may have lost their lives, but... what if we wouldn't need quite as many sheep in the years to come? What if even those lost sheep were a sign, and part of the plan?

For years, I wondered what became of the Child. There was no pomp and circumstance surrounding his childhood. No one stood when he walked past. He seemed to be an ordinary citizen. But I knew something was different, for that feeling from that night did not leave. Oh sure, it faded away a bit, and there were times when I questioned whether it was real, but it never left completely.

But then, years later, people started talking about Him again. He was stirring up all sorts of trouble, if the Pharisees and religious zealots were to be believed. Once again I wondered and questioned. Once again that feeling in my heart was kindled. Maybe he wasn't stirring up trouble. Maybe it was just that His plan was a bit different than theirs.

I kept hoping that things would get better, but they didn't. The Jewish leaders accused Him of blasphemy, put Him on trial, convicted Him and crucified Him. Once again I wondered and questioned. Once again that feeling in my heart was kindled.

I could hardly believe it when I heard the news a few days later. Alive? But... how? Unless... Could it be? I did not wonder and I did not question. The feeling in my heart was not only kindled, but completely renewed and fulfilled. He is the Lamb. "I know that my Redeemer liveth and that He shall stand in the latter day upon the earth."

Luke 2
Luke 2:10-14 (NASB)
Job 19:25 (KJV)
Inspiration taken from "Shepherd Dad" by Randall Goodgame, Copyright 2011, Slugs and Bugs

Allison Egley, 2009

Allison Joy Egley resides in St. Peters, MO. She graduated from Southeast Missouri State University in May, 2006 with a degree in Elementary Education. Her other writings are on the FaithWriters website.

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