He looks into those eyes, new and bright, searching and soft. And he can sense his own gaze softening. His own heart opening a little. There is something in this, he can see it now. No wonder those sky-strewn figures have spoken about this child as if he is a new-born lamb. Perfect and wrapped in swaddling cloth for protection. And lying here, not in a place of hidden safety behind wealth and walls, but open to the world. Accessible even to someone like him. A grizzled old cynic, with dung and muck in the creases of his hands. Weariness and frustration in the crevices of his mind. This tiny child, these fingers reaching for him, taking hold of his own gnarled finger, as a single strange tear washes grit from the barely visible corner of his eye. What does it mean, for a perfect child like this to be wrapped like a perfect lamb, fresh from the womb, and even now marked out as a saving sacrifice? For a second, as he thinks on it, it is almost as if a lightning bolt sears a crevice through his heart. Opening him again to the possibilities of mercy. He has no idea that down the ages, year on year, the baby will soften hearts and affect people just like him. Opening eyes and spirits to the unexpected, non-threatening generosity of the Maker of all grizzled cynics and new babies alike.
I regularly post creative pieces which help folks connect with the Bible in a contemporary and down-to-earth way. Please feel free to make use of them if they inspire you. I also post daily short thoughts on Twitter and have produced a variety of books, most of which draw on the Bible.