TH E K I N G ’ S BU S I N E S S
Penny was thinking of that Other Baby.
Penny and the
By H E L E N FR A Z E E -BOW E R
Los Angeles, California
“Tell me about the little Lord Jesus again, Mother. There isn’t any story in all the world like the Christmas story!” . Mother drew her rocking chair over to the window and Penny curled up at her feet. Together they watched the drifting flakes, and Mother began: “It was Christmas in Bethlehem— only of course it wasn’t. There never had been a Christmas yet, because, as yet, there had been no Christ-Child on earth. We do not even know exactly 'what time of year it was, but as the years haye passed, we have come to think of Christmas and the birth of the Lord Jesus as belonging together. On that night so long ago, the streets of the little city were crowded with people, so no one paid particular attention to the man and woman who went about from door to door, seeking a lodging place. Everywhere the answer was the same: ‘No room, no room.’ The woman was weary from the journey, and her husband was anxious to find a place «where she might rest. Finally an inn keeper took pity upon them and sug gested they might spend the night in a stable near by. Grateful for even this rude shelter, the man and the woman accepted. And there, the little Lord Jesus was bom, amidst the fra grant hay, with only the cattle to wel come Him.” “I always like that part,” Penny in terrupted. “I sort of feel grateful to the cattle.” “Why, so do I, Penny. Sometimes I think to myself: “Because, within a bam in Bethlehem, The cattle shared their shelter with the King, Out of the gratitude I bear to them A t Christmas time, this gift of song I bring.
and Penny knelt on the floor. One by one she took out the tiny things and handed them to her mother. The soft little blankets, the tiny blue and white jackets, the fleecy nightgowns, the dainty embroidered dresses, the cunning little crocheted bonnet. When they came to the shirts, Penny said: “Aren’t they cute? They look most of all like a •baby.” She held one up to her cheek. “Oh, I Can Hardly wait,” she said. “I hope it will be a little sister. Not but what Peter is all right,” she added, loyally. "But I’ve never had a little sister.” “Well, of course Peter’s never had a brother either,” Mother reminded her. “That’s right. I guess either one will do.” "I guess so,” laughed Mother. Penny put the things back in the chest and went over to the tiny crib in the comer. She patted the soft pil low and smoothed out the little counter pane with the blue bunnies, looking ready to hop out of their white squares. “It’s such a cuddly little bed,” she said. “How the baby will love it!” Mother began singing softly: “Away in a manger, no crib for a bed, The little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head.” Penny listened; Suddenly she grew sober. “Why, that’s right, H e . didn’t, did He?” she said. “He didn’t—what ?” “Have any crib for a bed. The song says it, you know. 'Think of our baby having a better bed than the Lord Jesus! It doesn’t seem quite right.” “No, it doesn’t,” said Mother. “I often think of such things when I remember the Christmas story.”
S HE Christmas snow was falling, turning the early twilight to a feathery blur of whiteness. Two over something that looked as though it might be good to eat. Penny watched them from the window. She thought she had never seen birds so cunning —nor snow so white and lovely. She heard her mother singing softly in the bedroom: “Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow—” Penny went to her. “How could the song be true, Mother? I don’t believe anything could be whiter than the snow that is falling outdoors. I’ve just been watching it.” “Have you never heard the snow flake story, Penny? Did no one ever tell,you how snowflakes are made?” , “I don’t think so. You tell me.” “Every single snowflake is formed around a tiny particle of dust in the air. So, no matter how beautiful it looks on the outside, the heart of every snowflake is always a little dirty.” Penny smiled. “But when the Lord Jesus washes the heart, there isn’t even a tiny speck of sin left,” she said. “The song’s right after all, isn’ t it? ” “Yes, Penny, the song’s right. Shall we look at, the baby’s things again?” “Let’s do, Mother. I like to so much. It’s going to be such fun having a. Christmas baby. It seems the nicest time in all the year to be bom.” Mother sat beside the cedar chest
small birds were having an argument
Junior K in g 's Business By M A R T H A S. H O O K E R Member of Faculty, Bible Institute of Los Angeles V
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