by Mary Stockler
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Setting: At nightfall near a village spring on the trip back from Elizabeth and Zachariah’s home to Nazareth
Oh Joseph, I’m coming home! It’s been a long three months since I left my parents and you in Nazareth and went to see Zechariah and Elizabeth; three months since the angel talked to me and turned my life upside down; three months since I found out about Elizabeth’s baby – and my own; three months since I told the angel to let it be to me like he said.
And do you know what Elizabeth said when I got to her house? She called me “Blessed!” She called me “The mother of her Lord!” She KNEW! And yet you do not know. I do not know how to tell you. What will you say?
It was a good visit Joseph. Being there as she joyfully got ready for her baby helped me keep hold of reality myself – that it WAS an angel who came to me, not just some daydream or nightmare. As my own body has changed, Elizabeth has helped me keep steady and told me lots about what is to come with pregnancy. Zechariah’s face was so happy when his son was handed to him for the first time. And then, when he got his voice back, what a day! At the rate he talked then he won’t take long to make up for his nine months of silence!
Pregnancy! I’m pregnant! It’s so strange to know I’m pregnant even though there’s no way I know of that I could be. I asked the angel about that Joseph. I told him I was a virgin. But the angel just smiled and said that with God nothing is impossible, that the Holy Spirit would overshadow me and that my baby would be called the “Son of God.” That sure changes our dreams! Will your face light up with this baby is born? The whole village celebrated with Elizabeth and Zechariah. Will they celebrate with us too? Will there be an “us”?
And now I pace and ponder. You’d think I’d be too tired to walk but somehow I’m restless. The caravan fire has been lit and some people have already settled for the night. This village has a spring, even better than the wells we’ve used along the way.
Did an angel visit you too? Like he did Zechariah? Are you waiting to welcome us home as Elizabeth did? Or am I to tell you? Will you even believe me?
I told Elizabeth “My soul glorifies the Lord.” And it does. He has been merciful to His people Israel. He has given me a great honor. But right now all I feel is my tired feet, my protesting back, the strange changes in my body that make it harder to sleep, harder to eat, harder to concentrate. “My spirit rejoices in God my savior!” My body aches to be home and safe.
Oh, and about safe: I saw crucified people today Joseph. I tried hard not to look, but they were so, so . . . I don’t even know how to describe it. And the Romans were whipping an old man and a boy in the village square we passed through yesterday. We NEED a deliverer to free us from these oppressors. And God is sending one through me! All generations will call me blessed! His mercy is alive in me! He is working for us!
I do not know the future. But I know the Holy One who holds the future. I do not know what you have been told or have not been told. I don’t know how you will deal with this crushing of some of our dreams so that other, bigger dreams can come true. The future is misty and unclear. But I have peace. I am calm now Joseph. My restless feet are ready to stop pacing. I will go and sleep. The Holy One has over shadowed me. He will not leave us helpless.
It is my prayer that we will see the birth of this “Holy child,” this “Son of God” together. Soon.
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This is a story that NEEDS to be told and I feel as if you stopped short of doing that. Honestly. You have a heart for it and a vision of it. It is a grand notion, that once drawn out, would bless so many. It's not just creative, its heartfelt, viable and it needs to be "seen" more clearly. I began to feel the feelings as she walked back to Joseph, but then it took a turn, an abrupt one and rather than "walk in her shoes" I was forced to change direction. You have a gift here, even its just this one article, it's been apparently given to you to write. However, having said that, out of fairness I digress. Perhaps your intentions were that the reader take this "seed" and ponder it on their own and for reasons known only to their God and themselves. I don't think that is what you meant though. This is an "canvas of the soul" meditation and I would sure love to see you paint it for us.
Mary, this is a masterpiece. Thank you for sharing this with us. In Christ, Jacque