It was a census year, and the US President oversaw the counting of every US citizen, as was mandated by the Constitution. And so, as was the law, participation by every citizen was required.
Everyone registered, either by mail or in person, and a count of the city of DC was given. DeShawn Greene and his girlfriend, Jacquelyn Benton, lived in DC; he in Anacostia, and she in Chinatown at Calvary Women’s Shelter. Since DeShawn worked downtown, the couple had decided to register together. He took the green line train up from Anacostia, across the river into downtown DC in order to meet Jacquelyn at the Gallery Place metro stop.
Jacquelyn was pregnant with their child, and she was late in her third trimester. While she was waiting for DeShawn at 7th and H, she began having contractions. As soon as DeShawn stepped off the escalator they hailed a cab and rushed to the George Washington University Hospital, but they could not admit her because all the maternity rooms were full. DeShawn and Jacquelyn went to the local health clinic and had the baby there, a son. They could not stay long because Jacquelyn had no health insurance. They returned to the women’s shelter. There, some of the other residents made a crib by stuffing a dish tub with their towels and fleeces. Jacquelyn wrapped her newborn son in some old t-shirts and laid him in the makeshift crib for the night.
Now it was late by then, and the city had quieted down. The only noises heard were the sounds of the buses whizzing by and sirens blaring in the distance. Carlos and Benito were emptying the trash bins on the street corners when suddenly a large figure appeared out of the darkness and stood before them. They could not see the figure’s face and were terrified. The figure said to them, “No tengan miedo” (which means, “Do not be afraid”). He said, “I’ve got some exciting news to tell you guys. A Savior has been born today, Savior of the whole world! And he’s just around the corner from you. Look for the women’s shelter on 5th and K. You’ll find him there lying in a dish tub, wrapped in worn, soft t-shirts.”
Just then, the sounds of buses and sirens were drowned out by a chorus of voices in the distance that seemed to come out of nowhere, and they were singing:
“Glory to God in heaven above, Peace and goodness to all people on earth!”
Soon after, the mysterious figure left and the voices quieted. Carlos and Benito said to one another, “Come on! ¡Corramos! We’ve got to get on over there as fast as we can and see this gift from God!”