The Wishing Stone Christmas
By TLB Contributing Author: Lorana Hoopes
Spenser listened intently to the teacher at Sunday school as she told the story of baby Jesus being born on Christmas Day, but all he wanted to do was hurry home and read the story himself while holding his stone. Wouldn’t it be amazing to be there when Jesus was born? Though he had gone into many books after receiving his wishing stone, he had never thought about going into the Bible until now.
“Okay, have a wonderful week and don’t forget the reason for the season,” the teacher said.
Spenser clutched his Bible to his chest and shifted from one foot to the other as he waited for his parents to come pick him up. Though the church wasn’t scary, the teachers would never let him leave until one of his parents came to pick him up, and as they usually picked up Kayleigh and Jackson first, he was often one of the last kids picked up from his room.
The time dragged on even more today because of his excitement, but soon he saw his dad’s face appear in the door.
“Dad, can we go straight home today?” Spenser asked, tugging on his father’s sleeve.
“You don’t want lunch first?” his father asked.
Spenser shook his head, his copper hair rifling slightly from the force of the shake. “No, let’s just go home.”
“Okay, well let’s see what your mother wants to do,” his father said as he led the way back toward the sanctuary.
Thankfully, his mother was in the mood to head home too. She was on a healthy eating kick and never liked grabbing fast food anymore anyway.
As Spenser piled in the backseat with his brother and sister, he whispered his plan to them. Their eyes grew wide with excitement, but they promised not to say anything until they got home.
Once the car pulled into the driveway, Spenser and Jackson raced into the house.
Kayleigh followed close behind, but as she couldn’t undo her own car seat buckle, she was usually the last out.
“Mom, we’ll be up in our room until lunch time,” Spenser called as he led the way up the stairs with Jackson and Kayleigh behind him. They had gone on enough adventures to know that even though time passed for them, it never seemed to pass in the real world, so as long as they could get into the story quick enough, they would be fine.
The three children piled on Spenser’s bed after he had rescued the stone from its hiding place in his top drawer. Then he opened his Bible and spread it out on his lap.
“Where’s the story of Jesus?” Jackson asked, peering over Spenser’s arm.
“It’s in Luke, chapter 2,” Spenser answered flipping the pages. “At least that’s what we were reading in Sunday school this morning.
“Are we going to see Jesus?” Kayleigh asked.
“Yep, but Jesus as a baby,” Spenser said.
“Jesus is not a baby,” Kayleigh said. “Jesus is up in Heaven.”
“He is now,” Jackson said, “but a long time ago, he came to Earth as a baby.”
“I love babies,” Kayleigh said.
“Okay, listen up,” Spenser said. “She wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them at the inn.”
The room began to shift in and out of focus, and the children gripped hands. When the shaking stopped, they found themselves in a field of dirt under a starry sky. It was quiet at first until the cry of a baby and the bray of a donkey filled the air.
“This way,” Spenser said, leading the way to a small building. There was an open door on one side, and the children snuck in quietly. There they saw a man and a woman sitting on hay bales and cradling a baby. A donkey stood nearby watching the scene as well.
“Baby Jesus,” Kayleigh whispered, and before they could stop her, she was approaching the woman and the man.
“Well, hello child,” the woman said. “I’m Mary, who are you?”
“I’m Kayleigh,” she said, pointing at her chest. “Can I see Jesus?”
“How do you know his name?” the man asked, leaning forward to shield the baby.
Spenser stepped forward. “Hello Joseph, Mary. My name is Spenser and this is my brother Jackson and my sister Kayleigh. We come from the future and traveled back in time with this wishing stone to see Jesus. You see, we are learning about him in church, and we thought it might be cool to see him in person.”
He had expected them to be scared, but perhaps after all they had been through, even three small children from the future didn’t unnerve them. Mary turned to Joseph with tears in her eyes. “The angel was right. He will be a great man.”
“Jesus is the savior,” Jackson said. “Can we see him?”
Mary smiled at the children and lowered the baby for them to see.
“He’s so pretty,” Kayleigh said.
“Handsome,” Spenser corrected. “Boys are handsome.”
Mary laughed a little and even Joseph smiled at the children. “Sit down, children, and tell us about Jesus in your time.”
Though he wanted to stay longer, Spenser wasn’t sure if they should tell Mary that Jesus had to die on the cross. He didn’t want her to be sad. “We’d love to stay, but the shepherds will be here to see you soon, and we should really let you rest. We just wanted to see Jesus for ourselves.”
Mary and Joseph exchanged a startled glance. Perhaps it was rude to leave so early. Or maybe it was because they had forgotten gifts. Weren’t you supposed to bring a baby a gift?
Spenser patted his pockets, but had nothing but the stone in them and he couldn’t give that away or they’d never get back. Then he looked down at his wrist and saw his WWJD bracelet. It seemed fitting to offer that, though they would have no idea what it meant.
He pulled the bracelet off his wrist and handed it to Mary. “In our time, Jesus is so special that they made these bracelets to remind us of him. The WWJD stands for ‘what would Jesus do’ and it is to remind us to think about what Jesus would do in our situation. I want you to have it.”
“Thank you,” Mary said, taking the bracelet, though her face still showed confusion.
“Thank you,” Spenser said. “I wish we could stay longer, but our mother will be expecting us for lunch, so we’d better get going.”
Mary smiled. “Yes, you should not worry your mother.”
“I don’t want to go, Spenser,” Jackson said.
“Me either,” Kayleigh pouted.
“I know guys, but Jesus needs to sleep and when the shepherds get here it will get really crowded. Besides, we can always come back.”
That seemed to appease them, and they followed him out the door back into the clear night.
“Why didn’t you tell Mary about Jesus?” Jackson asked when they were outside.
“I thought it might make her sad, and who wants to be sad on the day their son is born?” Spenser replied.
Jackson tilted his head in thought before nodding as if he understood.
“I’m hungry,” Kayleigh said.
“Me too,” Spenser said. “Let’s go home.”
Christmas dawned early the next morning as Jackson sneaked into Spenser’s room early in the morning. “Wake up, Spenser, it’s Christmas.”
Spenser groaned and rubbed his eyes. While he was excited about Christmas, he did wish Jackson didn’t get up quite so early. After a large yawn and an even bigger stretch, he pushed the covers back and rolled out of bed.
Jackson was already trucking out of the room and down the hall to Kayleigh’s room.
Spenser ran into his mom and dad, looking a little like zombies, as he exited his room.
“Mommy,” Kayleigh’s voice carried down the hall.
“Can we open presents now?” Jackson asked, popping back out of Kayleigh’s room.
“I guess we can now that you’ve woken the entire house,” their father said.
Spenser followed Jackson down the stairs and into the living room. The lights on the green tree were already on, twinkling and blinking. Presents in all different sizes surrounded the base of the tree.
“I want to open this one,” Jackson said, holding up a Pokemon wrapped present.
“We go in order,” his mother said as she entered the room and sat down on the couch.
Kayleigh walked to the tree and pointed to a Minnie Mouse wrapped present. “Can I open this one?”
Their father walked in, cradling a mug of coffee, and their mother nodded. “Kayleigh goes first as she’s the youngest, then Jackson, then Spenser.”
And so the present opening began. Kayleigh would tear hers delicately and take five minutes with each one while Jackson would rip into his, shredding paper like the Tasmanian Devil. Spenser chose an option somewhere in the middle, and one by one, they opened all the gifts.
When the gifts were all open and wrapping paper covered the floor like a second carpet, Spenser surveyed all his gifts. He was pleased with his Pokemon cards and his video tablet, but he couldn’t help thinking back to seeing Jesus as a baby. When he could arrange it, he snuck away for a quiet moment and turned his face to Heaven.
“Thank you, God for sending your son Jesus to us. I’m sorry he had to die, but I’m so glad that he loved us so much that he was willing to take on our sins. I hope I can show the same love to those around me this Christmas season and beyond.”
“Spenser, what are you doing?” his mother asked as she entered the hallway he had been hiding in.
He smiled up at his mother. “I’m just thanking God for Jesus and remembering the real reason for the season. Merry Christmas, Mother,” he said, rushing to her and throwing his arms around her. “I love you.”
“Well, Merry Christmas, Spenser, and I love you too,” his mother said as she wrapped her arms around him as well.
Spenser smiled up at the ceiling and followed his mother back into the living room. He would never forget this day for as long as he lived.
Our thanks to Lorana for being part of The Liberty Beacon family of authors and sharing her special Christmas story with us.
About the Author: Lorana Hoopes is an inspirational romance and children’s author who lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and three children. Her children are often the source of her inspiration and the characters in her Wishing Stone series books. If you would like to read more of the Wishing Stone or her other books, please check out her website at https://authorloranahoopes.com/ or follow her on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Lorana-Hoopes/e/B01EKWGU48 . Be sure to stay tuned as this story will soon be a full book in her Wishing Stone Inspirational series.
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