PostScripts from Blessing

The official blog of author Lauraine Snelling and the fictional town of Blessing, North Dakota

December 14, 1905 Myra and the Messiah, Part 3

Myra and the Messiah, Part 3
Taryn G, 17
"I am extremely sorry. There is absolutely no available room. We have people squeezed in everywhere; there are even some guests sleeping on the floor." Myra's mother quietly shut the door as the travelers walked away and turned towards her daughter.
"I dislike turning away people, but there's nowhere they can stay."
Myra replied, "There are so many people that have been coming to Bethlehem and are still coming, because of the census. It's all the Romans' fault. They only want to know how many of us there are so they can get more money out of us, perhaps even figure out how to start getting rid of us. That's what they want to do, you know it."
Her mother's tired face looked stern. 'You must stop this bitterness, Myra. Think of someone other than yourself. Think of the tired travelers who are streaming into our town. They don't have a roof over their head. You have so much."
A couple hours later, scrubbing this, washing that; Myra was exhausted with doing her mother's endless list of chores. With an overflow of people staying at their inn, Myra's mother's high standards were ever more difficult to accomplish. The floors, dishes and sheets never seemed to meet her mother's perfectionist standards. At least Myra had been able to skip cleaning the stables without her mother noticing. Yet.
After Myra's mother went downstairs to start on dinner, Myra seized this opportunity to throw the rag into the bucket and gaze out the window and watch the busy streets below. Think of someone other than herself. What good did that do? It was simply something parents told their children to make them be quiet. She felt her resentment bubble inside her again.
Looking out of the second story window gave her a great view; hence, it was one of her favorite pastimes. Myra loved to make up stories about the travelers – where they came from, what their purpose was, what kind of people they were. After studying several families, caravans, and traders, Myra spied a couple that was shuffling down the street. A young, but gaunt and worn-looking man led a skinny, pitiful donkey. On the donkey slumped a tired, dirty girl, not much older than Myra herself. Myra could see she was great with child. As they turned down a street, the urge to help them pushed through her bitterness. But where would they stay? Already people were sleeping on any available floor space in her own house.
As a thought struck her, Myra ran quickly ran down the stairs without thinking further. Moments later, armed with blankets and pillows she hurried to the family's barn. As the smells of the barn animals mixed with the sweet-smelling hay hit her, a little seed of doubt sprung in Myra. How could she offer a stable to someone? Surely she would be humiliated once again. After pausing to think, Myra decided that there was no choice and hurriedly made a cozy bed with new hay and the blankets and pillows from her room.
As Myra wove her way through the Bethlehem streets, she searched for the couple she had seen earlier. After many fruitless, frustrating turns, she heard cries of pain and a soft, consoling voice from a nearby alley. As Myra turned the corner, a man's voice cried out, "Please, help us." Myra ran over to the girl's side and said to them, "Come with me. I have a place prepared for you." Even with all her twisting and turning, she'd only gone a few corners from her mother's inn.
Myra and the man were able to help the girl make it to the warm shelter of the stable. Embarrassed by the smells of the animals, Myra regretted not cleaning their stalls that day.
As soon as the girl was comfortable, the man dropped into a deep slumber. It was obvious that neither one of them nor the donkey had had enough sleep, rest or food. The old, starved donkey looked about ready to fall over. Myra had given it some grain, but it hardly had the strength to eat it. Myra fetched some food for the man and girl from the house. Beautiful through the filth, the girl thanked Myra and leaned against the wall to rest. Her thick, wavy, brunette hair fell down to her waist when she took off her head covering. Her face was worn with the pains of traveling and carrying a child.
"Do you live here?" The girl asked, breaking the awkward silence.
"Yes. I live here with my mother, who runs the inn in front of the stable. Where did you travel from?"
"Nazareth. My husband owns a carpentry shop there."
Nazareth was almost seventy miles north of Bethlehem. Suddenly everything made sense. The nearly starved donkey, the haggard looks on their faces. Myra assumed that the husband walked the whole way and the donkey transported the short, but pregnant girl. Her anger burned again at the Romans for forcing this couple to travel at this momentous time in their married life. How she hated their oppressors.
"I was watching you from my window and I just felt drawn to help you two. You reminded me of me – tired, lost, hopeless, and ignored."
The girl smiled, yet said nothing. Moments later, when Myra glanced over at the girl again, she saw that the girl was fast asleep next to her husband. Checking to make sure everything was in order; she headed out of the stable. Abruptly, remembering the cries that drew her to the couple, Myra darted back and dug in the corner of the barn and emerged triumphant. After, lugging out an old, unused manger, shaking out the twigs, and filling it with new hay, she placed it beside the sleeping couple.
After dinner, Myra urged her mother out to the stable.
"They needed a place to stay and I thought of our stable. It is nice and warm. I put down new hay and brought them blankets from my room." Myra pleaded with her mother, who wasn't happy with the idea of the couple staying in the stable. However, once they entered the stable, her mother's mind quickly changed. The young man was sitting in the lamplight with his back to them, leaning over his wife.
The young woman cried out again.
"Myra, go to the house and get some warm water and more blankets. Hurry." Myra's mother urged.
Myra raced to the inn and fetched the needed items and almost fell on her way back to the stable, so overloaded were her arms.
Watch for the Final Installment Next Week.

Meet the Author
Taryn, 17, is home schooled and lives in Utah with her parents, younger brother, and Golden Retriever. A junior in high school, Taryn hopes to become a nurse and work in a hospital, do medical research or major in mathematics. When she's not attending college or doing endless homework, she swims for the local public high school. She enjoys skiing, rock climbing, hiking, and camping with her family and friends.One of her favorite pastimes is reading books, in which she enjoys historical fiction or mystery the best.