Beauty surrounds us, but we usually need to be walking in a garden to know it - Rumi
It was a bright crisp day in December. The tall buildings cast long shadows across the street. Rueben and his mates were kicking a football about when an old, smartly dressed, man approached. “I’m looking for the Feinstein’s home,” he said “Can you direct me.” Of course Rueben could; it was his home. “Follow me” he said.
At the door he called out: “Ma, Visitor” before running back to his game. Mother bustled to the door wiping her hands on her apron. Looking at the visitor she stiffened. What was a smartly dressed gent like this doing here? Was he the new landlord intending to put up the rent? “I wish to speak with your daughter the old man said handing Mother a card. On it she read ‘A.A.Gabriel. Communications Director.' Clearly not a man to be trifled with, but who was he? To be polite, she said, “Come in. Have some tea and perhaps you’d like a cake, I‘ve just baked some.” The old man thanked her, came in and sat by the fire. “Mary” she called out, “Come down we’ve a visitor” Mary had been looking at some magazines choosing a dress she dreamed of wearing for her forthcoming wedding to Joseph. She sighed but did as Mother had asked. As she entered the room the old man stood up and addressed her rather strangely, “Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you” he said. What an odd way of speaking, she thought, I wonder who he is. But Mother now knew exactly who he was although had no idea of his proposition. Sensing Mary’s apprehension he went on, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favour with God. He has asked me to put a proposition to you.” Found favour with God? Her mind was racing now! What could God want from her? ”You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end” said the old man. “You’ve got to be joking,” laughed Mary, nervously; and yet there was something about this man. He didn’t seem the sort to joke about something important like that. “But I am a virgin,” she protested, “Really I am Mum. I’ve not let Joseph near me.” Turning to the old man she asked “What will Joseph say? He won’t marry me if I am pregnant!” “Don’t worry about the details,” said the old man rather testily, “Everything will be taken care of. I will call on Joseph to explain things. You can leave it all in God’s hands.” With that promise Mary made up her mind. “I am the Lord’s servant,” she answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” “Excellent” said the old man making a note in the little notebook he drew from his pocket. Now, I must be getting along. So much to do! Oh, by the way, did you know your cousin Elizabeth is six months pregnant? I saw her the other day. I think she would welcome a visit from you” With that he got up, thanked Mrs Feinstein for the tea and cake and left.
What does God want from you today? More importantly, will you accept His invitation as Mary did?
Peter is a father and a grandfather who has been retired from full time employment for a number of years