So often we talk about the fears and uncertainties that Mary, the mother of Jesus, must have felt. I am going about it from a different perspective this year. Not saying that she didn’t feel those fears and uncertainties. I’m certain that she did. But I think there must have been quiet moments for her where everything just… felt… right. I believe God gives those moments to us. Those moments where you just feel certain that you are in the right place, doing the right thing, even though it’s not necessarily an easy thing that you are doing. Those moments are like gifts. Those little moments of assurance make all the hard, “impossible” moments bearable. I write from the perspective of Mary having one of those moments. Not disregarding reality, but reveling in the beauty of her task.

She walks.
Down the dusty, full street.
Free and quiet.
Graceful and swingy.
Loving the sounds of children shrieking, animals, the rumble of carts, the chatter of women, the laughter of men.
The sun gentle now, but promising piercing heat.
She ponders.
She is made of many things.
She is made of the firm consistency and strength of her father and the joyful peace of her mother. She is made of the life of her siblings. She is made of the teasing of friends, and of aunts who still pinched her cheeks and pronounced her beautiful. She is made of the sun high in the sky and of the stars glowing at night. She is made of rocky, dry hills and scrubby low trees. She is made of murmured prayers and careful obedience.
And now…
She has become more than just herself.
She is him too.
Him, Joseph, with the brown eyes that make her feel warm. He has shown his kindness in many, many ways. He is so good.
She feels giddy and thrilled and has to focus on keeping her steps even, instead of skipping like they want to.
She is her.
She is him.
That’s not all though.
She is more.
She is filled with Him.
The angel told her so.
Right now it is her secret.
She had always believed in Him. Had always been curious about the Messiah. But somehow had never imagined that it would be her.
That she would be chosen to be part of God’s growing, beautiful, living, painful plan.
Yes. She had always believed.
But now, it was all so real that she felt as though she tingled with God.
He is so close.
The certainty and the comfort of that chase away the fingers of trepidation that want to snake through her.
She is young.
But she is smart.
She is willing.
But she knows.
This is going to be the hardest thing.
It’s going to fulfill her and tear her apart like nothing else ever had or ever would.
She knows.
Her heart already loves this Life and depends on it.
She aches for herself.
Not everyone would be kind to the girl who claims that the Messiah is growing inside of her. How to be firm and yet gracious? Gentle and strong? To know the truth but be patient with those who don’t understand?
She aches more for Him.
Even fewer people would be kind to the one who declares himself to be the Messiah.
She knows these things.
But it’s okay.
It’s the way it is.
People wouldn’t understand.
God had come to her.
God was with her.
He had been watching her.
He still was.
He always would be.
He was… inside her? Her hand settles on her stomach in amazement.
Excitement rushes through her.
She grasps that excitement and claims it, and the fear is kept at bay.
It all is so good.
Her feet want to dance.

2 thoughts on “Dance

  1. Rich said I need to read this one and he was right. I like it too. I’ve been thinking a lot about the reality of that night in Bethlehem a lot this year. Kind of rebelling against the pristine, cute nativity scenes I guess. I mean, giving birth? pristine? cute? yeah. more like messy and dirty and noisy. But I like that because christmas for me is rarely pristine and all beauty. Oh, there’s lots of beauty but I’m really glad Jesus knows and isn’t afraid of my messes and noise. But you’re right, bearing a child and giving birth is one of those things that is full of wonder despite the fear and pain that is involved (even when it’s not the Messiah within you!) and I love how well you’ve imagined and captured how Mary might have felt.

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