It was a sound never before heard in Roaring Camp. The wind seemed to stop rustling the pine trees, the river paused in its headlong rush for the sea, and the flames ceased their crackling and hissing in the fireplace.
Roaring Camp was used to lots of swearing, cursing, and angry talk. But the new sound made every rough, dirty gold miner sit up and take notice. It was the plaintive cry of a newborn baby.
The mother died two hours after her child was born, so the miners appointed Stumpy, a man wanted by the police, to care for the baby. When they peeked in to see the new arrival, they removed their hats. «Just don’t seem proper to be looking at a pure, innocent little baby with our hats on,» Stumpy insisted.
The child needed a cradle, so the men ordered one from a catalog. The new cradle made the cabin look old and dingy, so they built a new cabin. The new cabin made the other cabins look old and dingy, so they constructed more new cabins. Can’t have new cabins without a new grocery store. And look at the streets! Yup, they gotta be fixed.
The miners themselves began bathing, combing their hair, and brushing their teeth. «Roaring Camp has changed,» one man said a few months later. «It’s—why, it’s like heaven!» All because of a little baby.
Can you think of another child who came into a rough, dingy, and dark world and changed it with His presence? Here’s a hint. Think Christmas.