(Continued from last week… Mary’s Perspective. Part Two in a four-part series.)
I was six months pregnant when it happened. I was walking down the street, on the way to my dear friend Maya’s house, when Joseph ran from his house in my direction!
He had not spoken with me since the day I told him that I was pregnant. I was very surprised, and even more so when he started calling my name!
“Yes? Is something wrong?” I asked. Joseph shook his head no, and then motioned me into his house. I stepped in, my legs shaking with fear, but Joseph quelled my fright with one loving look.
“Mary! An angel of the Lord appeared to me in a dream last night, and I believe your story! The son you will bear truly is the son of the Holy Spirit,” Joseph said calmly.
I broke into tears of relief. Finally, someone believed my story! Then questions flooded my mind. Would he take me back as his wife? Would he support the child that was growing within me?
“Joseph, what can this mean for us?” It may not have been a very proper question for a girl to ask, but I had to know. Joseph slowly reached for my hand, covering it in his scabbed, carpenter’s hands, and smiled at me. I knew that no longer would I have to worry for the baby. He would have a home and a father!
I gave Joseph one last grateful look, then walked out of his house with more joy that I had experienced in many months. So great was my relief, that I almost forgot that I was on my way to Maya’s house. With one hand on my stomach, I proceeded on my journey. I had not seen Maya since the day I saw the angel, but I knew that she surely would know of my pregnancy by now.
I was right. When I knocked on the door, Maya answered it, all the color draining from her face when she saw me.
“Hello, Maya! I have not seen you in many months! How are you, my friend?” I asked cheerfully. Maya just shook her head and began to close the door. Having received this response from several people since my shocking announcement, I knew I had to stop her. I put one hand on the door and met Maya’s cold eyes.
“Why are you shutting me out?” I asked tearfully. Maya motioned me inside with a sigh, and proceeded to tell me what her grievance was.
“I should not be talking to you. You are pregnant outside of marriage. How could you do such a thing? My father has told me to stay as far away from you because or your choices!” Maya yelled loudly.
Tears welled up in my eyes, and I ran to Maya to give her a hug. She pushed me away, as tears began rolling down her cheeks.
“I used to know you, Mary, but now I cannot be your friend. Please leave my house,” Maya said coldly. I had no choice but to let myself out. All the joy from Joseph’s acceptance of me was gone. I had no one who believed me except my betrothed. The rejection from so many of my past friends overwhelmed me, but I did not let it show.
As I made my way back to my home, I heard the pounding of horses’ hooves. Seven horses with Roman soldiers came barreling into Nazareth. I had to run out of the way, for fear of being trampled! What could their hurry be?
“I have a message from Caesar Augustus! All people must journey back to their homeland and attend a census there! You must leave in enough time to complete this journey!” a soldier cried and then galloped off to the next town.
I gasped when I realized what this could mean. A tap on my shoulder made me turn around too quickly and I bumped into Joseph.
“Mary, as my betrothed, you must journey with me to my homeland. We must go to Bethlehem,” Joseph said solemnly. I closed my eyes and breathed deeply, nervous and excited. I nodded my head, and made plans with Joseph to leave in a week’s time.
I walked home quickly, making a mental list of all the things that had to be done. I then realized that my baby would not be born in my quiet, safe little town. It would be born in Bethlehem! This realization scared me, but I knew that I was in God’s hands. It was His child, and He would make sure it was born safely.
That week was spent packing up all of the provisions and clothing needed for the trip. My mother who had not hardly spoken with me since I became pregnant sat me down and told me all the steps that I would go through when I was in labor. Although the thought terrified me, it was good to have a woman’s perspective on what was going to happen.
Early in the morning, Joseph helped me onto a donkey, and loaded all the provisions as well. Goodbyes were said, and we set out on our journey.
The journey to Bethlehem, where the son of God would be born.
2 years ago