The Shepherd Boy’s Joy

Once again, the night spread its starry blanket. In a field near Bethlehem, ten-year-old shepherd boy Samuel watched the stars rise. Every night, he stayed there, watching over his flock, as did the other shepherds. Today, one of his little sheep had gone missing. Samuel searched long and hard until he finally found it, stuck in an oak. He joyfully pulled it out and embraced it.

Then, the boy pondered about God’s existence. A few months ago, his little sister fell ill, and the doctors couldn’t help her. Samuel suffered greatly for her. He prayed, if there was a God, for Him to heal her. However, it didn’t happen, and the boy was confused. He thought that the One who made the stars rise so magnificently must be very wise and powerful. Surely, He could help his little sister. He so dearly wished, if there was a God, for Him to help in this difficult situation, just like he had helped the lost sheep today. Tears flowed from the shepherd boy’s eyes. The next day, he asked another shepherd to watch his flock and went home. Upon arrival, he saw his mother’s worried face. His sister’s health had worsened. She could no longer eat and looked like a candle slowly fading away. Yet, she never stopped believing there was a God who cared for all. Their grandmother, who had passed away a year ago, often told them, “A prayer from the heart is like a star lighting up in the sky.” Since then, the girl sent her prayerful star to the heavens every night.

Unlike her, a storm of anger and disbelief raged in Samuel’s soul. He decided there was no God and walked towards the field, sunk in despair. That night, as usual, he watched the starry sky and fell into a deep sleep, dreaming a wondrous dream: A star much larger and brighter than the others rose in the sky, casting a radiant path. Samuel decided to see what it was. He followed the starry path and saw three wise men in the distance, likely from afar, carrying heavy loads. Soon, the men stopped before a cave and entered. Samuel secretly watched. Inside, a young woman held a baby swaddled in cloths. The three wise men bowed before them and offered various gifts. Curious, the boy decided to enter and quietly hid behind the donkey in the manger.

He gazed at the Infant and felt a strange power stirring within him. The child’s face radiated wondrous light. Samuel instantly knew this was God. He felt a little sorry, seeing the wise men offering precious gifts to God, while he had none. So, he prayed, “Lord, I have nothing to offer You. I offer my repentance for saying You do not exist. Please forgive me! I want to follow You!”

At dawn, Samuel awoke and hurried home. He wanted to tell his family that he had dreamt of the Christ Child. In the distance, he saw a frail figure running towards him. Astonished by the miracle, he recognized his little sister, who had recovered that night. Bright hope filled his heart. He now knew God exists and that after suffering, He always gives us His comfort. He also understood not to despair, no matter how hard it gets. For countless are the Christmas miracles on earth.