We know that an angel speaks to you when there comes to your body a shiver as long as centuries and on the top of the skull a crowning crest. The little shepherd is formal. His voice, when he recounts the event, still lurches. And too bad if we take him for a madman. The little shepherds are used to not being believed. SO goes the world. In town we have a lot of important people. Sellers. Engineers. Powerful men. Show organizers. They are the ones we listen to. Their word is worth its weight in gold. Their mind is occupied with projects, calculations, resolutions that eat up their time and part of their heart. The little shepherds, on the other hand, have been delegated from all eternity to subordinate tasks: to love the animals, to look at the stars, to listen to the angels.
The little shepherd says that the angels are not at all like the creatures sold under that name in the menageries near the holy places, with their large wings adorned with exotic birds and the eyes of women who see visions. But that doesn’t matter. He understood the irony in the policeman’s weary question: “So, this angel, what did he tell you? » He knows that the routine interrogation will end with the cuff or the regulation belt. It’s been a long time since he toughened up and he doesn’t cry anymore when you think he’s a liar and hit him. He will have to remember, later, to tell his children: “Do not be a slave to the slaves of the useless, keep your eyes clear for when the king makes his appearance. »
He did not miss the appointment. He was there when the angel spoke. He heard him say: “Today in the city of David a Savior has been born to you. You will recognize him: he is a swaddled child waiting for you, lying in a manger. »
At these words, the little shepherd felt in his being the joy he had always been waiting for. A joy that needs neither laughter nor song. A joy that we recognize as if it were already there and had spent its life calling you to the side where you are not. A poor man’s joy that comes in the evening when one has done one’s duty and asks for nothing more than to take one’s place in the rose garden of heaven.
The little shepherd apologizes, he is afraid to use words bigger than himself. He tells how he ran so as not to be late: “The other shepherds walk faster than me, I didn’t want to keep the king waiting. » Several times the little shepherd is interrupted in his story. A former Maoist turned press mogul cuts it off, in a puff of a cigar: “My poor friend, your story stinks of the opium of the people. » The president of the lay association of Vétilleux-sur-Amnésie threatens him with a lawsuit if he persists in praising a God disguised as a child. An astrophysicist with his napkin ring on all public service trays explains to him that the future of the world is being played out in exoplanets and certainly not near a manger in a remote bled.
But the little shepherd does not let himself be confused. In the past, when people asked him why he made himself beautiful every morning, and why he stood erect in the light of day and the injustice of men, he replied: “I stand ready. My king may come. » Now he knows the king has come. And it’s a child. The little shepherd still can’t believe it: ” A child ! You realize ! A little child! » That’s when he starts laughing, dancing on the spot while turning on him. He finds God wonderful. in his inventions. In this limitless love he has for a humanity that never understands anything. Who falls back into his mistakes like a drunkard into his drunkenness. ” A child ! Not a deluge, not threats, not punishments, a child! »
The donkey, the ox, the faces of Mary and Joseph, the first fervor of his brothers in the straw and the ooze, the little shepherd has forgotten nothing of what he saw in the stable in Bethlehem. This new way of loving given as an example to the lost world. Forces redistributed forever. This mother and this father are equal before the disarmed truth of the child: “The Little King. With fragile hands. At the feet that we bring to our mouths while saying all the words that pass through our hearts. God whom we can now name. God repatriated, here, in the face of all the children of the world. God who is no one’s property. »
The little shepherd has no diploma, title, medal to wear. If you ask him what he saw, he’ll tell you. Where did these things happen? “Here, that is to say everywhere. » When ? “Yesterday, a moment ago. » And what is the name of this child? “All children are called promise. »
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the little shepherd
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