Matthew 2:12

Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.

The men knelt in the doorway–the precipice of two different worlds. The night at their backs, a world ignorant of the savior, and before them, inside the warm, candle-lit home, a new world existed with a new King.

Mary was surprised to see the men, and even more so when they fell to their knees on her doorstep.

When Jesus toddles around her legs and peers at the trio, she clears her throat and reaches for the eldest’s shoulder before scooping Jesus up from the floor.

Darien looks at Mary and Jesus through hooded eyes.

“Come in, please.” She says warmly.

The men get to their feet, straighten their robes and belts, exchange nervous smiles, and follow her into the house. Joseph enters through a doorway opposite them, and stops short.

“Visitors!” He exclaims.

“Sir,” Cyrus begins, “we have come from the east to meet the Christ child.”

“The east?”

“Yes.” Darien answers, and the other men nod.

“How far have you traveled exactly?” Joseph rummages about, bringing stools into the space for the men.

“Many months. Since the star appeared.”

“I see.” Joseph sits on his own stool, and Mary stands at his side. He takes her hand. Jesus wiggles in her arms, wanting to walk, something he only just learned to do.

The young mother holds him tighter, but strides to the middle of the room, where she kneels before the men, Jesus on her lap.

“He has come.” She says, simply, a smile lighting up her face as she lifts Him slightly.

Slowly, Cyrus pulls out a container from his robes and kneels before Jesus and Mary, Joseph watching close by. He sits the container in front of the little family, and bows his head.

Beside him, Baraz follows suit, drawing a corked bottle from his robes. He places it on the wooden floor between them and bows his head.

Darien looks at the young men with pride and love as he unties a leather sack from his belt and kneels before the King. The heavy gold sounds against the wood as it’s placed so reverently before the young boy and his parents. Darien bows low, brow grazing the floor, before sitting up and putting a hand on Baraz’s shoulder. Baraz puts his hand on Cyrus’, and the three look to Jesus with tear-soaked cheeks.

“We could not come empty-handed to meet–The Messiah.”

Mary doesn’t have words. Joseph tries and fails to fill the silence, as the weight of the words fall over them. The Messiah. Will they ever get used to it?

It’s not a short visit, and it doesn’t need to be. The wise men from the east leave shortly after they arrive, kissing Jesus on the forehead, squeezing Mary’s hand, and giving Joseph a firm hug.

Joseph walks closely with Darien, holding him back while the others walk ahead to where the donkey and new camel await.

“This dream–it was real?”

“Indeed. God has blessed us with this knowledge, and we will heed His warning. Herod is a danger to us, and so we will travel a different way.”

“Take care that you do. We pray you travel well.”

“And you take care of that wife of yours, and King Jesus.” Darien smiles as he says the name, as He did every time since Mary said it on the day they arrived. Jesus. King Jesus.

Darien gives the boy another look before turning away from the little family and joining his friends.