Published Wed, Dec 07, 22.
Excitement rippled through Sujata’s* flower family. The girls could hardly wait the week until Christmas morning. Sujata thought back to her first Christmas at Mukti two years before; it was the first time in her life she had received a real Christmas present. She still treasured her gifts—her little bottle of lotion, socks, barrettes, and of course, her beautiful Christmas purse!
After supper that evening, as the girls chatted before bedtime, Sujata’s best friend Shanti* begged their housemother, “Please can you tell us the story of the Christmas baby?”
Sujata looked up, interested. She had never heard the story before and she loved stories. Their housemother smiled. “I’d be happy to,” she said as the girls crowded around to listen.
“It was the week before Christmas, a few years ago, and a call came to Aunty Hemlata* from the police station saying they had found a baby, would Mukti keep it. Of course, she said yes, we would be happy to care for the baby! So the police officers brought the baby to Mukti. Aunty Hemlata and Aunty Sheetal* suddenly heard the baby’s whimper. ‘We hear a baby,’ Aunty Hemlata cried. ‘Where is it?’ asked Aunty Sheetal. ‘Why, it’s right here, wrapped in a scarf,’ the officer said.”
“Aunty Sheetal carefully picked up the hungry, dirty, smelly little baby, while Aunty Hemlata stroked its little head. Then our sweet Mukti ladies went to work. They got a bottle of milk, which the baby guzzled down. They gave him a bath, which he desperately needed, and less than an hour later, the little baby boy was clean, fed, and sound asleep in his own little cradle swing in the Mukti nursery. And he had a name—‘Joy Naveen,’ which means ‘New Joy.’ And that’s the story of the Christmas baby.”
“That was a wonderful story!” Sujata exclaimed. “I never heard it before. I’m so glad that the baby found a home here.”
“Yes, here he found people to love and care for him,” smiled their housemother. “Christmas is such a wonderful time for babies, isn’t it? After all, the most wonderful baby in the world was born on Christmas. And just as Baby Joy Naveen was a gift to us, Baby Jesus is a gift to the whole world!”
*Names changed for privacy and security. Images representative of Christmas at Mukti Mission.