His workshop was nestled in a little valley that opened up deep in the forest. A small brook flowed in front of it, continually playing sweet music to His old ears. More often than not, there was smoke rising from the chimney, and a radiant, golden glow seemed to pour out of the windows from all of the love and happiness on the inside. Most people never noticed it when they went hiking by, but some did. The ones who did notice would say that it was a cabin, not a workshop, but when they stepped inside, they could see all the work going on in there. He would call it more of a playshop than a workshop, because to Him, that’s what He was doing, playing, not working.
The little old man sat at his table, whittling out the caboose of the train he’d been working on. A fire burned warmly in the fireplace, crackling and popping just ever so often. One of the windows was slightly ajar so that he could hear the babbling brook just outside, and the sweet sound of all the woodland animals playing outside.
He looked up from his play and noticed three little mice staring at from the other side of the table. “Oh, well hey there!” he said, smiling gently at them. “Are you guys hungry?” The little old man broke off three pieces of cheese from the plate sitting nearby and placed them in front of the mice. The mice bobbed their heads in appreciation, and if you looked closely, you could see smiles on their furry little faces. He always looked closely.
“So, where’s the rest of the gang?” he asked the mice. They started chirping in response as if they understood His question. “Oh, you don’t say,” he replied back.
The little old man took a sip of His hot chocolate with marshmallows and then started to play again. He loved drinking hot chocolate with marshmallows when it was snowing outside. It had been snowing for some time now. In fact, he couldn’t remember the last time it hadn’t snowed. He loved it. He loved everything.
He was deep in His play, not worrying about anything, just playing when a knock came at the door. He placed the caboose on the table, got up and headed to the door.
The little old man opened the door with a big smile on his face. He loved having company! “Why, hello there!” he said in a friendly voice.
“H…hi,” said the lost hiker, shivering.
The hiker stood in the doorway, staring down at the little old man. The little old man was a good two feet shorter than him, with white hair growing where it could – but not on top – big bushy eyebrows and rosy cheeks. He could feel the love and happiness radiating from the little old man and it warmed his heart. A small smile started to form across the hiker’s face.
The little old man held his arm out inviting the hiker to come in out of the cold. “Please, come inside Kevin, I’ve been expecting you,” He said with a twinkle in his eye.