Dan and Trish Shepherd drag their clan, two teens and three little ones, “the meemies,” into a diner called Whoopees. The meemies immediately begin running amuck.
“Hey!” Mom shouts.
Dad comes to the rescue: “No grass until the sheep get in their pen!”
The meemies dive into their chairs, giggling and ‘bah-bah’-ing.
“Who wants a hamburger?”
“Me! Me! Me! Me!” they scream.
Painfully insecure middle-schooler Nikki asks how long before they get to Grandma and Grandpa’s house.
Mom tells her not to whine.
“I’m not whining,” she whines, “and I refuse to sit with the meemies; they’re all sticky and gross!”
Big brother Colin says, “Come on, Picky Nikki, you can sit with me.”
“I hate it when you call me that!” she says, tragically dragging herself over to his table.
Mom begs Dan to tell the meemies a story.
“OK. Who wants a Christmas story?”
“Me! Me! Me! Me!”
“So there was this kid who really wanted an air rifle for Christmas…”
A woman in a Whoopees apron appears, and says, “Cute, but you can do better than that, Shepherds. I’m Miss Angell, the Night Manager.”
“Here at Whoopees?” Dad asks.
“Think bigger, Dan. Lots bigger. So, who’s up for a miracle?”
“Oooo! Me! Me! Me! Me!”
“I don’t see that on the menu. Is it a special?” Dan says.
“About as special as it gets.” The woman jumps up onto a chair. “It was nighttime, and the Shepherds were keeping watch over their flock…”
The meemies drop to the floor and begin loudly “grazing.”
“Quietly,” Angell adds, and the meemies turn instantly silent.
Mom says, “I’ll give you a million dollars if you tell me how you did that!”
“Then an angel appeared.” Angell jumps down and touches the game box Colin is absorbed in. Several hundred hearts appear on his screen.
“Whoa!” ‘Eternal life points?’ Where did those come from?”
“I know the Designer personally,” Angell says, touching his chest. He jerks back, as if awakened from a dream, puts his game box away, and says, “Dad? I don’t know what I want to be, and it’s freaking me out. Can we talk about it soon?”
Dad gasps, then puts his arm around him and says, “Of course, son.”
Angell shuts Nikki’s gaping mouth, and tells her, “No more fear, sweetie. You’re not alone. God loves you so much!” She touches Nikki’s heart. “He’s going to live right here.”
A smile spreads like daybreak over Nikki’s face. She puts her head on her mom’s shoulder. Trish stifles a sob.
“This is the day the Savior is born in your hearts, Shepherds,” Angell tells them, “and you’ll never be the same again. That miracle that happened 2,000 years ago? Well, it’s still happening. When you look for Jesus, you’ll find him, right here.” She touches Dan’s chest.
“Holy—” Dan shouts.
“Dan!” Trish reacts.
“No, I mean that literally!” he says. “God is with us. Right now!”
Angell explains, “Right now your faith is a baby, just like Jesus was. But if you love him and live your life for him, that faith will grow, and you’ll soon realize that everything that matters is about him.”
The Shepherds cluster excitedly around her.
“Now, go and tell everyone!” she says. “Oh, and avoid the Whoopees’ Combo.” And then in an instant she’s gone.
Too excited to eat, the Shepherds hurry off…
To tell the world.