It’s Christmas, which can only mean one thing: stressful travel arrangements.

I watch the passengers crowd around the doors, pushing and jostling to get as close as possible so they can be first through.
There are harried mothers and tired children, relaxed students and grandparents overloaded with gifts.

Watching them, I think about you on your way to Nazareth.

You would only have been a teenager, and I wonder if you were scared, felt overlooked as the crowds closed in around you, head and shoulders above your young, pregnant frame. Caesar called this survey, and now the streets are filled with families returning home to register. I wonder if people wrestled and jostled their way to the front like they do here. How did you cope with the long journey towards the end of your pregnancy? Was your mind hurrying to get you there, and your body holding you back? I wonder how Joseph felt – did he long to get there and home as soon as possible?

And to arrive somewhere already teeming with people? Hotel rates through the roof, and cries of “fully booked” no matter how fast you rush around them. Did the innkeeper see the exhaustion on your face and take pity on you, leading you to the stable behind his house?

How did you cope with this?
How did you cope with a baby born to be a Saviour when few believed you?
How do I respond now, to you, to your son?