There was "room in the inn" after all. Musings on what preceeded the offer of the manger.
|They Found Room
"Husband, you know you can not do this thing! What will the village say about us? This young woman is kin!"
"What would you have me do, woman? The other family members were here first. I can't turn them out on the street. This cursed census! I knew our family was large, but this is just too much. Is Ceasar that hard up for gold that he has to cause such hardship for us?
Just so he can fill the palace coffers with our hard earned wages?"
"Quiet! You do not want the Roman soldiers patrolling the town to hear your ravings", said his wife. "I have a suggestion that may help. I only hope that your kinsman, Joseph and his young wife, will not be insulted."
Arioch quieted and sat down on the sill by the window to better listen to his wife's idea. It never ceased to amaze him how she could work through any problem that puzzled his simple mind. The one thing that worried him was the comment about Joseph taking offense. Arioch had married into the House of David. His wife, Mikhal, was a direct descendant, as was Joseph. He also knew that she was correct in her thinking that the villagers would be outraged over thoughtless treatment of family. Especially one in the throes of labor.
"I just finished cleaning the lower chamber," she said. "The weather is not too harsh for the animals to be outside right now. They can graze in the field in the back. There is fresh straw in the manger. That is just the perfect size for a newborn to sleep. The chamber is large enough for Joseph's wife and a few attendants to assist in the birth. You and the rest of the menfolk can stay in the upper room and try to distract Joseph. You and I can both see how concerned he is for Mary. After the baby arrives, they can use the lower chamber until they register with the Roman authorities and she is well enough for them to return to their home."
Arioch considered his wife's plan. Her idea made a lot of sense and he really saw that there was no other choice. He nodded his head in assent and stood up.
"I will go to Joseph and tell him of our offer. Go gather some cushions and blankets for Joseph and Mary. We may be asking them to use the lower cave, but there is no reason for them to be lacking in comfort while they are there."
Mikhal smiled at his words. She hoped that the couple would accept the lodgings in the humble cave. It would be so nice to have a baby around to care for again. She hurried to the base of the steps leading to the upper floor.
"Sarai! Miriam! Hurry, we have work to do!"