[Song of Solomon 2:1]
Ruth nodded to her neighbor;
it was early, and they had
both come to the well: carrying
their jugs before the sun became
too hot. The musty, rich aromas of the
well's ancient stone wall,
the women's heavy pottery, and
the surrounding acres of farmland
filled the early morning air.
"Good morning, Ruth!"
Ruth's neighbor was a gentle,
quiet woman, very lovely in her
early middle age, and still in
mourning from her husband's
recent death. Mary had a large
family; her eldest son had
taken over his father's carpenter
shop. Mary's husband had been
a very kind man to everyone in
the community, and all would miss
"Mary....we were all wondering
when your eldest would be taking
Ruth nodded as she spoke:
smiling shyly. She had a cousin
in Jerusalem whose oldest daughter
was now of marrying age, and
such a nice girl: just perfect
for Joseph's eldest boy.
Mary spoke softly, and smiled
to herself, also. She kept her
eyes down as she carefully lowered
her large water jug into the
old well. It was a spring day:
promising to be uncloudy, and
full of gentle, spring-scented
Mary smiled to herself again;
she seemed to be carrying a
little secret, as well as her
"The thing is...."
Ruth shook her head;
pursing her lips, with a
sympathetic look on her
wrinkled face. Ruth was the
yentah of the village, and knew
"I would NEVER...be a nosy-
bucket! Oh, no!"
Ruth put her free hand to her
chest, and frowned with grandmotherly
"You've been through...so much!
And we were all just concerned
about you, Mary! You have several
growing SONS...and your eldest
is such a...well..."
Ruth pursed her sun-weathered
lips again: pausing for a long moment;
her thick, peppered gray eyebrows drawn
He is so very DUTIFUL
to you...and so shut up in
that little SHOP...all day...
we all thought that perhaps
you would be searching for
a good WIFE for him...
Ruth smiled, and tilted her
head hopefully. Her cousin's
oldest daughter, named Bertha,
would be just perfect
for Mary's first daughter-in-law:
a wonderful cook, good seamstress,
and very round, and plump: just right
for bearing many grandbabies.
Mary carefully pulled up her
dripping wet jug, from the deep
cool well. She was still smiling,
and gazing down with her large
hazel eyes. For a moment, Mary
almost looked to her neighbor
as if she were
going to chuckle.
Mary carefully lifted the dripping
heavy jug out of the old stone
well. She looked up at her neighbor
with those lovely dark hazel
eyes. Mary was a gentle beauty:
never vain, or boastful, or
inconsiderate of anyone; she had
been a good wife, and wonderful
mother, in spite of the trouble
she had had as a very
young girl: pregnant before the
time of her Betrothal was complete.
But that was long ago, and she
and her husband had proved to
be God-fearing parents, and
devout, quiet, helpful
members of the community.
"You see, Ruth..."
For a moment, tears filled
Mary's beautiful eyes.
chose a Wife
of the Lamb
it was granted
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