Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son,
and will call him Immanuel.
Are you the one? A single thought, tiny, small, insistent.
Movement, like a hiccough, deep inside. She imagined a perfectly formed foot, a perfectly formed hand, a miracle. She rested her palm on the mound her stomach had become. The mound she had kept hidden from prying stares and accusing glances. She rested her palm on the blooming of the child inside.
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart
The words of the prophet whispered to her. Words she had learned in the temple, words from the old books, words that unwound like the scrolls, unwound and comforted these last months. God is good, she thought, even as she felt another twinge deep in her belly - a twinge from the new life she carried.
Are you the one? She had wakened early, before the birth of the day; it was her favorite time, when she could be still with her thoughts. Thoughts of her husband-to-be, offering marriage even in this condition - placing himself between her and the gossips, the doubters, the law. Thoughts of her parents, trying to understand, trying to believe, trying to hold their heads up in this oh-so-small village of everybody's business.
Are you the one? The question lingered - as much in her head as in her heart. Again the memory of that one night, so long ago now, when she had been visited by a servant of Glory.
The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.
Fear not. Easier said than done, she thought. The angel had come to her, frightening in his brilliance - the light of God was more than her earthly eyes could behold. He had calmed her enough to hear and understand his message. And she had agreed. Shaking her head, she'd had no choice, really. The fear remained at bay, held off by her faith in the goodness of her God. Fear of gossip. Fear of her future. Fear of impending motherhood. Fear for the child she carried. She prayed, under her breath and out of sight.
God, do you hear me? I am not enough for this. Who could be enough for You, for your Son of Glory? I am Your humble servant; I am but a girl. If He is the One, truly, then what do I do, oh God of the Ages? How do I raise this Holy Prince?
The household was beginning to waken; she saw the glow of a lamp reaching up the steps to the rooftop where she had been praying. Pulling her robes around her growing bulk, she paused to absorb the lightening of the new day. Her mouth began to smile even as tears formed in her eyes.
The vision she had seen in that pause, in that moment, caused her thought to change .... You are the one! The Chosen One! Simple word order made the question into a statement - solid and real. The vision had been instantaneous - a series of glimpses - a baby, pink and new, swaddled and secure - a tousle-haired boy running, fingers trailing through a field of gold - an older child sitting at the feet of a rabbi - a carpenter and help to her husband - a teacher, smiling and welcoming - a healer....beautiful glimpses of a full life, humanity-full of laughter and love. But she had also seen glimpses of lonely, of darkness, of temptation, of sacrifice and soldiers - a dove alighting on a cross...
You are the one! The Chosen One!
Chosen. She knew what it was like to be chosen. Different. Set apart. Isolated. Except for her God who gave her peace. Especially in the early morning time. She knew she rested in His Hand - just as this growing child was resting inside of her - protected and nourished - deep, secure, sheltered by her own body.
She knew. And in that moment, she knew how to raise him - as only a mother could. Her child. Her son. She would raise him to honor his father and mother. She would raise him in the Law, and she would raise him in the Word. Tears and smiles - she stopped. It was just a whisper, a slight breeze lifting the corner of the veil she had just put into place. Tears and smiles. It was the breath of God, His voice - in the dawning light of morning - clear and sharp - cutting through the new day.
Yes. Verily yes.
Father, thank you for the humanity of your Son. Thank you for his mother who raised him, and his father who accepted him as his own. Thank you for the gift of Jesus.
Linked with Monday's Musings
Linked with Monday's Musings