She’d always liked the quiet mornings before the sun came up. The world was still mostly asleep and it felt like she could do her best thinking then.
She shook her head as she pondered the events of her last year. The beautiful proposal, the famous engagement party/ all things a girl dreams about. Her fiancé was a good man and she was so excited about her future. And thankful- only God could have brought them together.
But then there was a dramatic change of events. Suddenly everything she’d stood for was in question. Her family knew first. She would never forget the shocked look for hurt and betrayal that passed between her parents “wait, what? Didn’t we teach you better than that?” Her mom had cried over how the family reputation would be marred and although she’d tried to explain there was no use. Her current condition spoke for itself.
Talking it over with her fiancé had been far worse. The look in his eyes and the wall that instantly went up left no question what this was doing to his heart. He left quickly after mumbling that he needed “to sleep on this.” She hadn’t slept at all wondering what would become of her. Would he hand her over to the local authorities? The law was clear what was to happen to a single girl in her condition. She wept with relief when he came the next day and promised to love and protect her regardless. She could tell by his face-he knew and believed the truth.
But the rest of the world didn’t know. And everywhere she went she could feel the rumors and accusations. Her peers growing up, the elders at the town square, the neighbor ladies down the street all assumed they knew the truth. Her ears burned when the conversation died as she approached. What should’ve been the most anticipated year of her life flew past in a muddle of pain. Who believed that it was possible to be “with child” before your wedding without committing sin?
Now here they were-far from home in cave outside of town with a perfect baby boy. Sheltered away from it all. She knew she couldn’t change what had happened. She knew she couldn’t fight the stories. She knew she couldn’t dwell on things that were out of her control. So she chose to lay that down and focus on her blessings at hand.
Suddenly her reverie was interrupted by the sound of men approaching. “Honey!” She said with a feeling of alarm “I think there’s someone at the gate”
He hurried to meet the band of men approaching and she watched intently. What would he say? Would he try to explain/justify their current situation?
But he didn’t. He just opened the gate and they came straight in.
They surrounded the manger and she couldn’t believe it as those weathered farmers reverently stroked the face of her Son. “The Messiah our Lord. The Promised One” they said over and over. Finally her fiancé spoke “How did you know? How did you find us?”
Immediately they all talked over each other telling the story of the angel’s visit. A lone angel announced the Christ-child’s birth and then an entire chorus filled the sky praising God. It sounded frightening and yet magnificent.
And with that visit something changed.
She noticed the change immediately the next time they went into town for supplies. Gone was the dark looks of judgment. In its place were looks of curiosity and longing. Could this Child be the Key to the Deliverance everyone wished for? Those farmers had told the details of the angels visit far and wide. She didn’t need to defend her reputation. The Truth won.
Mary kept these things and pondered them in her heart.
Mary’s case was unique in that she wasn’t guilty. She hadn’t made a mistake. God sending His Son to the world thru her was a miracle and the events surrounding Jesus’s birth was surreal.
And yet I think there’s a bit of Mary in each of our experiences: less than ideal circumstances create opportunities for the rumor mill to fly. The truth is silent and pain level is high.
I’m challenged by that this Christmas season. Live above the rumors. The truth wins in the end.
I came across this quote from Matthew Henry after a robbery and it challenges me:
“Let me be thankful, first, because he never robbed me before; second, because although he took my purse, he did not take my life; third, because although he took all I possessed, it was not much; and fourth, because it was I who was robbed, not I who robbed.”
Be encouraged-no matter how tough things are-when you find yourself on the wrong side of community news: truth wins in the end.
Recently there was a German Christmas Market at a farm outside our sleepy town. I’ve been missing all the Christmas get-togethers this year, so it was extra fun.
Mother said it really felt like a German experience. The day we visited the weather was damp and overcast. All the children were bundled up like Eskimos.
Although we had varied ideas of what the “authentic German Brats and sauerkraut” would be- the experience will definitely be one for the books. Also the fact that the truck was run by a deaf man added to the uniqueness of the environment.
Last weekend’s meteor shower was another one for the books. A number of my cousins brought their families and we enjoyed catching up out-of-doors since there will be no large family gathering this Christmas. And the meteors were exquisite.
And last but not least- every photo session of my nephews from here until who knows when:
Good thing Alexander is “tough like Daddy” 🥰 my little guys 💙