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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Grandparent(s) (04/03/08)

TITLE: Cry of the Heart
By Ruth Neilson


Anne quietly watched her daughter go pale and turn her head away from her once favorite meal and shook her head. The symptoms were starting to add up. Her youngest daughter, Miriam, was ill by the sight of raw meat and cooked fish. Anne knew, for a fact, that her daughter had not gone to be purified for her monthly bleedings.

Children, and by the very extension, grandchildren were a blessing of The Most High. But, her youngest daughter, Miriam, was pledged to be married to a good man...a kind man...but now this? Would Yoseph still honor the betrothal?

Adonia, what has my daughter done? She prayed as she settled down next to her Joachim. Anne smiled reassuring at her eldest daughter, Leah, and her husband. They were expecting their second child. That was a welcome blessing.

Anne bit her tongue as she gazed for a long moment at Miriam. Silently interrogating Miriam, demanding to know, how she could have done this to them...to Yoseph. Did she not know what the penalty of being with child outside of marriage was?

“I’m with child.” Miriam’s quiet voice shattered the chatter that had begun around the table. Anne closed her eyes and lowered her head. It had begun.

Joachim slowly lifted his eyes and gazed at his youngest child. Anne could feel her heart sink into her stomach. “Did you say something, Mary?” He asked and Miriam nodded once.

“Yes father, you’re going to be a grandfather in about seven months.” Her soft voice was trembling now and Joachim blinked and turned his gaze to Anne, then back to Miriam.

“How can this be? Have you been with a man?” Joachim’s voice was quiet, hiding the fury, for the moment.

Miriam shook her head once. “I do not understand it myself. But, an angel of the Most High appeared to me and said, ‘You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Yeshua. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.’”

“And what of Yoseph? Have you told him yet?” Joachim demanded after a long moment of silence.

Miriam shook her head. “Not yet, but I will...” Her voice dropped off and her hand stole to rest on her stomach.

Anne gazed for a long moment at Miriam before asking, “And if Yoseph submits you to the letter of the Law? What then? Did your angel speak of you about this?”

Miriam shook her head again. “No, the angel did not.” she paused before continuing, “Yoseph is a good man, and I pray that the Most High will explain everything to him.”

Joachim stood and stormed away from the meal. This did not bode well, and Anne knew it. The set of his shoulders spoke volumes.

“I am going to get Yoseph, and you will tell him now.” Joachim declared, stalking out of the small house.

Miriam turned to Anne, her brown eyes bright with tears. “Mother, I am not lying...the angel also spoke of my cousin Elizabeth being with child.”

Anne held up her hand. This was not the time for any sort of diversions, though, Miriam rarely used such tactics. Yoseph needed to be told…though, maybe... Anne allowed the thought to drop off as Joachim stormed back into the house, Yoseph following close behind, his face stormy, his dark brown eyes staring into Miriam’s.

Joachim watched the young couple for a long moment. “What is your decision, Yoseph? She is your wife according to the Law.”

The tension could be divided by a flint blade. “Send her away.” Yoseph muttered, and Anne winced. Miriam’s child would be born into disgrace unless Yoseph had a change of heart.

“Send her to a family member away from here. I need time to think...to pray.” He continued before spinning and leaving the house.

Anne nodded and sank back to the floor. She now had two grandchildren on the way—she could only pray that the youngest was truly because of The Most High’s plan.
Luke 1:31-33

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This article has been read 670 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 04/11/08
A wonderfully unique take on a so-familiar Biblical event. I'd never thought about Mary's parents before - thanks for making me :)
Betty Castleberry04/12/08
I love stories that tell behind the scenes happenings of Bible stories. This one is no exception. You did a great job with the characterizations and probable reactions of Mary's parents. Well done.
Dee Yoder 04/12/08
I've often thought about how Mary felt and how Joseph felt when he heard the news, but there must have been a "moment" when Mary's parents heard the news, too. So often, the things of God are ridiculous, impossible, and troublesome to our human hearts, but He uses our limitations to produce miraculous results! I really like the way you ended this story: just on the cusp of the most miraculous event in human history.
Lynda Schultz 04/12/08
It's hard to imagine how difficult all this was for the people involved. Who would believe a story like "God did it." anyway? Thanks for the well crafted insight.
Kristen Hester04/12/08
This is such a creative idea. You captured their feelings so well. I am very impressed with this entry. Great job. Great writing. Great. This one leaves me thinking. I'm so glad I know the ending.
Chely Roach04/13/08
What a wonderfully crafted Bible retelling. Loved it.
Sharlyn Guthrie04/13/08
I can honestly say I've never thought about Jesus' grandmother, so this is definitely a unique perspective. Much to think about, and very realistic.
Jan Ackerson 04/14/08
I love Bible stories told from a unique POV...it creates such a wonderful, fresh perspective. Thanks!
Joy Faire Stewart04/15/08
Wonderful job of bringing this Bible story to life. You have brought the characters to life. And I like the title.
Terry Walker04/15/08
Wow, you really brought that moment to life. Great dialogue and description, you put me right in the scene.
Debbie Wistrom04/15/08
This was amazingly insightful.

Since you asked for red ink,I read it again becaue one word bothered me. Everything I know about Joseph does not lead me to believe he would leave the room 'spinning' I see him with his head hung and dragging himself from the situation.

There is nothing wrong with this, I feel it may place.
Lyn Churchyard04/15/08
Wonderful story from a very different POV. How hard it must have been for Mary's parents? I love retelling of Bible stories in a unique way like this. Very well done.
Sara Harricharan 04/16/08
This is certainly a different POV! Oh, I did feel so bad for Mary/Miriam, with her dad getting upset and the way everyone didn't know or understand yet, what was to come. This was so good-so very real! Great job!
Gerald Shuler 04/16/08
This is exactly what I did in my entry... with different bible characters, of course. Well done, excellent writing.
Joshua Janoski04/16/08
I had never really thought about the emotions of Mary's parents until reading this. It must have been really hard for them to understand what was happening, especially in a time where being pregnant like that was highly frowned upon.

You did an excellent job with this. I appreciate you sharing your unique take on this Biblical event.
Joanne Sher 04/18/08
Congratulations, Ruth, on placing 11th in your level and 17th overall with this piece. Awesome! :)