Tuesday, December 17, 2013

In Her Sandals -- Mary

My journey to Elizabeth’s home was uneventful. I know God is protecting me. He won’t let anything happen to the baby I carry. I see Zechariah and Elizabeth’s home. I can’t wait to see her. I haven’t seen her in a long time. I knock on their door and enter their home greeting Elizabeth whose pregnancy is clearly in full bloom. As I speak to her, this look comes over her face, and she grabs my hand and puts it on her belly. The baby within her is kicking and actively moving.

Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!

I step back to listen because Elizabeth is so loud as she’s telling me these things. I haven’t even told her I was pregnant. How could she possibly know?!

My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me – holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. He has performed mighty deeds with his arm he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, even as he said to our fathers.

And this is how our visit began. I cannot tell you how relieved I was to hear Elizabeth testify and prophesy to me. It affirmed my feelings and thoughts, and it confirmed what the angel had said. Not that I doubted, but the reassurance was a blessing. Elizabeth knew I was carrying God’s Son without my telling her, maybe others will too.

Elizabeth shared with me the miracle of her conception which explained while Zechariah was mute. I’m not really sure what to make of all of that, but now I understand why Elizabeth was thankful for my instant belief that God was able to do the impossible. Apparently, Zechariah hadn’t believed.

I love being here for her last trimester. I’m helping to take care of her and her home, helping her to prepare for John’s birthday. Elizabeth is so patient with me on those days that I’m fighting morning sickness or fatigue. We are a pair. That’s for sure.

I am there for John’s arrival. How amazing! What a little miracle. I know it’s time for me to head home, so Elizabeth can get used to being the mother she always wanted to be. I head home carrying Jesus in my womb. He’s always with me. That fact alone is so comforting.

I’m not showing yet, but I know the day is coming, and people are going to start asking questions. Here’s the thing. I left right after the angel visited me. I left to go see Elizabeth, so I know there will be those who think I got pregnant while I was gone, and that I was unfaithful to Joseph. Joseph knows he hasn’t been with me. He will know the baby isn’t his. I’m able to keep my pregnancy hidden for some time, but eventually, someone notices the change in my body. My family has a sit-down. I tell them about the angel and what the angel said. I tell them about what Elizabeth said. I can see the doubt and confusion in their faces. I ask them to trust me. I’ve never given them any reason to doubt me before. Trust me for the unbelievable.

Someone has to tell Joseph. I’m not sure who is chosen to tell him. I wouldn’t do anything to shame or hurt Joseph, but this isn’t about him. This is about God. It’s about His plan, not mine.

We wait for Joseph’s response. He could publicly disgrace me and divorce me, and then no one will want to marry me. He could divorce me silently, but men rarely choose that option. He could marry me is the last option. That would be a miracle. If Joseph does either of the first two, my family will make the next choice regarding my life and Jesus’s life. So, I wait, and I pray. Boy, do I pray!

Word comes from Joseph that he has to go to Bethlehem for the census because he is of the house of David. As soon as I hear that Joseph is of the house of David, my mind goes back to what the angel said. My baby, Jesus, was to reign over the house of David. It’s a very little piece of the puzzle. He tells my family that I am to get my things together and go with him. He intends to marry me. Oh how I love that man!

I started packing the few things I have for myself and the clothes I have for Jesus are so small and soft. I pack a few personal things because I really don’t have much, and Joseph and I start our trek. It’s the first time that Joseph and I have been alone, and the silence is a bit awkward. We begin talking at the same time, grin, and he tells me he knows that I haven’t been unfaithful and that I’m carrying God’s Son. I just want to break down in tears, and as a matter of fact, I do. What a relief! Relief washes all over me. I breathe deeply and feel the tension in my shoulders slowly melt away. Since he knows, I don’t have to tell him about the angel’s visit or what happened at Elizabeth’s, but we have about 90 miles of walking and plenty of time, so I do.

I know I’m moving slower than a herd of turtles, but when you are eight and a half months pregnant, walking on cobble stone streets and dirt paths make for some very swollen feet and ankles, not that I can see them, but I can definitely feel them. We take frequent breaks and occasionally I can ride, but truth is, that is uncomfortable as well. I don’t complain though for I know it won’t be long before this little one that I’ve protected inside my womb will make his entrance into this world, and everything will change. Everything.

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