The Christmas program at the orphanage was over. The angels, shepherds and wise men had returned to little girls and boys running through the cold halls of the orphanage. Even Mary had already taken off her white sheet and red slippers.
I was still in the music hall trying to bring some semblance of order to a room that minutes before was a stable, field and even Bethlehem. Turning toward the door, I saw a little blond head peeking around the corner. It was Luda. A seven-year-old little girl whose parents don’t want to be bothered with runny noses and scraped knees.
Luda had come to see the Christmas program. She had heard the Christmas story. She had watched her older friends show the miracle of Christ’s birth. We had talked and laughed for a few minutes afterwards. But now she was back.
I gently took her hand and led her into the room. I sat down on a bench and she climbed onto my lap. I wrapped my arms tightly around her. We talked and laughed some more. She told me how much she loves music and dolls. But mostly we just sat silently.
Finally, she got up, smiled, and walked cheerfully out the door. She called out, “Paka” (Good-bye) as she left.
Jesus was born today. Oh, yes, I want to be with Him, see Him and worship Him with others. But when the celebration is over, I’ll come back all by myself just to be with Him a little longer.
Copyright © by Jane Carole Stein