It was cold that night in the fields and the wind blew out the fire. I was crouched behind a rock for shelter but it did not help. A short distance away my brothers huddled together for warmth. They were singing songs to keep the cold away. We were all tired, cold, and hungry. Have you ever been so tired and hopeless from years of working and wandering that you stop seeing, hearing, and feeling your own life? I was there that night. I was numb, inside and out. What good could ever come to a person like me? What did I have to look forward to but more of the same? Then it happened…
Out of the night came a wind, but it was not like the ordinary wind. This wind was filled with a presence. My brothers stopped singing and I could see fear cross their faces. My heart seemed to stop. This wind carried a message and we were very afraid because with this wind came voices and lights. I looked at my brothers and they looked at me. No, we were not dreaming. Then the voices became a music like we had never heard before; ominous and joyful. The presence in the wind set us on our feet and sent us running into the town. We ran as fast as we could away from the wind, half in fear and half in excitement until our feet were bleeding, until fields became streets, and we arrived where our hearts had always been leading us.
In town there was a crowded and noisy place filled with pilgrims and revelers. Their torches and lamps bravely made a refuge of light that defied the surrounding darkness. But, out back in the shed where the animals were kept is where we found what we had always been looking for. It was just as the voice out of the whirlwind had told us. There he was, wrapped in his mother’s shawl on a bed of hay. It was nothing special; no wind, no sounds, no lights…but it was everything. How can I tell you? We had suddenly seen what we had been obscurely yearning for all of our lives. The one to come, asleep under his parents’ watchful care, hidden from the eyes of pilgrims and revelers and their artificial lights. There he was. Nothing special and everything.
We didn’t stay long or say much. We congratulated the new parents, wished them well, one of us said something ridiculous about the strange wind, and we walked back to the fields. No one said anything. Some of the sheep had wandered away while we were gone and we were up all night searching for them. None of us could have slept that night, anyway. We returned to the same fields, the same work, and the same miserable lives, but everything had changed. You can never be the same again once you find the One you’ve always been longing for.