Sunday, January 20, 2008

MAry's Story -- A Letter to Joseph

My betrothed Joseph,

You must have so many questions, so many doubts. After all this isn’t how it is meant to happen. Just before our marriage is to be made official word comes out that I am with child. You would be well within your rights to cancel the agreement with my parents and leave me to my fate.

Joseph, you must believe me. I have no idea how this came to pass. It is a mystery to me. I know what the town gossips have been whispering in your ear but it isn’t true. I haven’t been playing the whore. Just out of nowhere I found myself with child. I understand that this is hard to believe, but it is true.

You asked what my feelings around this series of events were. To be truthful, I hardly know. At first I was afraid – afraid of how others would react, afraid for my life. Then I was angry. How dare God do this to me? Did I really have a choice? Would saying “no” have made a difference when the angel came (I did tell you about the angel right)? Then from somewhere, I don’t know where, I found the courage to say yes, although it was with a touch of defiance. Somewhere I had a flash of foresight about this child. Joseph, this child of ours (I trust I can say ours) can change the world. This son, I just know it is a son, will truly be a child of God. He will teach and do wondrous things. But in the end, my heart forebodes, he will die a terrible death. These things I discussed with the angel. No, these things I told the angel, but he had no answer to give.

My visit to my cousin Elizabeth was a blessing. It got me away from the gossiping tongues and accusing eyes. Elizabeth too had a flash of foresight about the greatness of our child. And I had another flash. My heart was moved into prophecy as our people knew of old. I knew somehow that God was doing great things, that God was moving mighty forces to turn the world upside down. And so I sang. Maybe no-one will remember my song but I sang of God who makes the weak mighty and lays the mighty low. Our son will be a revolutionary Joseph, a revolutionary I say.

And now, how do I feel? The first flush of defiance has faded. The fear remains. The eyes and tongues still stab me with accusation. True, your commitment to live out the deal you made with my father has lessened them somewhat but until we are truly married the fear will still haunt me. And I have indeed accepted my lot Joseph. Someday people will either curse or bless me for giving birth to the child I carry, the son I carry. But he will change the world. Thank you for standing by me Joseph. Thank you for taking the chance and being a father to this special child.

I remain your wife-to-be,
Mary

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