TOOLS (Jesse Tree Day 23)

The penultimate Jesse Tree symbol is a set of carpentry tools, reminding us of Joseph. Once again, this piece is one I wrote some years ago, but it fits well with the theme. If you want to use it as a reading, as before, please let me know in the Comments and do acknowledge at the time where you got it from. Thank you.

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Oh, and I couldn’t resist sharing this picture again of my very own Joseph (and Gabriel) in the church nativity about 15 years ago!

Who am I? Oh, no one you notice much. I’m just the one at the back keeping my eye on things, making sure everything’s ok, making sure they’re ok, that my family is safe and sound and undisturbed.

Undisturbed? Huh! Chance’d be a fine thing! The visitors we’ve had recently, all sorts I can tell you, and at all times of day and night too. And the racket them and what they brought with them made! But it’s amazing what a baby can sleep through. And I’ve done my bit to make sure the visits weren’t too long or too tiring for my girl.

Been through a lot, she has, enough to wear anyone out, let alone in her condition. All sorts of gossip and badmouthing she’s had to put up with. And then the paperwork to fill in, and not simple stuff you can just sort out at your local civic centre, oh no; we’ve had to travel miles to file it in the right place. Not that I minded, but she shouldn’t have been travelling, not in her condition, not so close to her due date. She should have been at home with her mum not in some strange town where we knew no one.

And then finding somewhere to stay once we got here – what a nightmare! I lost count of how many places we tried, how many doors I knocked on. But it’s the wrong time of year to find a room when you haven’t booked in advance. In the end, I was grateful even for this old dump that someone took pity and cleared out for us. At least we could sit down and rest.

Not the kind of place you’d choose to give birth in though, but better than the streets and at least things were straightforward in that department, which was a good job as it’s really women’s work assisting with all that. I did my best and, like I said, no complications to worry about, thank goodness.

Amazing thing, seeing your wife give birth. I thought I might feel differently, a bit detached maybe, seeing as the baby’s not, you know, not technically mine. But when it happened, I was just so relieved she was ok, that I hadn’t lost her, cos you hear awful stories about some births. And when I saw him for the first time…well, words just aren’t big enough. It was love at first sight, just like with his mother. And he is the image of her so that probably helped too.

Some of you will look at pictures of us and see that I’m always there. But you won’t focus on me. You’ll look at the baby, and his mother; they’re the natural centre of attention. And then you’ll see the visitors – because, to be honest, they do look a bit strange, a bit out of place, not what you’d expect to see in a family snap. You won’t notice me beyond registering my presence. But that’s ok. I don’t mind. You see, ever since the beginning when I agreed to take this on, I knew that my life’s work would be to take care of her so that she could take care of him. I have such an important job to do.

Who am I? I’m Jesus’s other daddy.

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