Mary stood looking at the great, bright being standing before her. Doubt shone clear in her eyes, and she couldn’t help fidgeting a bit. What would Joseph think? What would her family—the whole village—think? An immaculate conception from one of their own would be—well, inconceivable.
“Sir, my family is not wealthy. All we have is our good name.” Mary paused, a flush creeping into her cheeks. “Because we haven’t been together, Joseph will know the child isn’t his. He will reject me and I will be stoned for adultery, as the law requires.”
“Mary . . . the Father has a mighty plan for the One you carry. Be strong in your heart. His mercy will flow out to the world and free you all from the burden of sin if you will trust in Him. He would not place a load on your shoulders that is beyond your strength to carry.” Gabriel gazed on her with compassion.
A bird trilled joyfully nearby.
Mary stood very still, trying to understand. “I just don’t see how I can make this work. I’m too young. I’m not ready for this.” She looked hard at Gabriel, anger and frustration shining electric behind the fear.
“Mary—“Gabriel began, his voice becoming a deep rumble.
“No, just stop it. Stop it! I can’t do this. My life will be ruined, if I’m even allowed to live. I’ll be a social leper. I won’t be able to marry, or I’ll be forced into a life of prostitution like old Hannat. How can that possibly be the right thing for a child? My family will be shamed, and the child will be an outcast.”
“It is done. It is God’s plan. Trust it, Mary. You are blessed with the amazing and heartrending task of holding the Savior of the World to your bosom. He will be in your love and keeping.”
“NO!” Mary shouted, as the angel vanished. “Come back . . .” She sank to the dusty ground, dropping her jar in the process. The water sifted into the sands, with barely the memory of moisture to mark its passage. Tears of rage and fear dropped from her eyes to join the lost drops in the ground.
“I will be like Hannat, lost and alone,” she wailed. Her whole being shook and she couldn’t stop it. “People will sneer and spit when they see me or walk on the other side of the road. I can’t do this. Hannat . . .” Her body stilled and she raised her head. Relief coursed through her.
“I will go see Hannat. She will know what to do.” And she did.
The older woman’s eyes took her measure before smiling in a knowing way, nodding, and handing her a little pouch of dried, crushed herbs for a tincture. She certainly did not believe in heavenly messengers or that sweet little Mary carried the Son of the Most High. She understood Mary’s predicament well enough, though, and gave the young girl the comfort and acceptance she needed. She certainly knew that this was no time for blind optimism. Savior of the world, indeed! What kind of God would lay that kind of weight on a young girl’s shoulders?
Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee. (KJV Psalm 55:22)
Mary pressed a coin into Hannat’s soft palm and left clutching the tiny pouch.
Beware lest you say, “We have found wisdom . . .” (KJV Job 32:13)
She was glad to find the house empty. She heated the water and mixed the herbs in a cup.
For I know the plans I have for you . . .plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. (NIV Jeremiah 29:11)
She held the cup to her lips, tasting salt and bitterness.
"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made . . . All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be" (NIV Psalm 139:13-16).
For God so loved the world, He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (NIV John 3:16)
Jesus wept. (NIV John 11:35)
The rage of Gabriel rang through the heavens. And Satan laughed.
Word Count: 741
Author’s Note: This story is absolutely fictional and not meant to be disrespectful to the actual Mary of the New Testament. Nor is it meant to be a rift-building accusation of the many wounded people who have mistakenly chosen abortions for one reason or another. Rather, it is intended to be a "what if" to illustrate what can happen when we are ruled by emotions and public opinion, or don't believe that God really has a plan for each created soul, if we only trust Him. Even our Savior came forth from unlikely beginnings and an inconvenient situation. There is a reason and a blessing contained in each soul.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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