We asked everyone we had known back home and every soul we met along the way, but no one knew anything useful about the one to come. Our poor translations of old Hebrew texts gave us the information we needed to at least suspect that others before us had experienced the same hope and longing. We ended up relying on maps and a star and the yearning of our hearts. We had decided that the unknown was better than the known and anything was better than nothing. It was a lonely journey born of lonely lives. So we set out.
It was a hard journey filled with uncertainty and ever-growing doubts, but we had already committed ourselves to it and we were determined to see it through. I can’t tell you exactly how we knew when we were near, but we knew. We only lost sight of the star once, when the fearful king of the province tried to trick us into betraying what we had so long searched for. This only deterred us briefly and served to strengthen our resolve. Herod’s darkness made the star burn all the brighter.
When we arrived it was not as we had expected. Who expects to find the one thing necessary in such ordinary surroundings? A child like all children; just as special and just as ordinary. We realized the absurdity and the perfection of it all in that moment. We felt foolish kneeling before a poor Hebrew baby and his uneducated parents, but faith leads you into unexpected places.
After the awkward formalities of culture and custom, we reluctantly took leave for our familiar lives, but we went by another route to avoid Herod and to forget our old selves. After that, our lives became special and ordinary, like the child, and we waited to see from afar what God had in mind.