Christmas Monologue – Mary’s Mother

Photograph: Kenneth McMillan

Photograph: Kenneth McMillan

I’m glad you got to meet my daughter Mary, and her husband Joseph because if you hadn’t met them first, you would never be able to understand my story.

Mary was our youngest daughter and when she was a baby, her father and I presented her to the Lord. That was a very emotional day for me and I never understood the significance of it until now.

Only another mother could comprehend what I felt the day Mary sat down for tea with me and told me she was pregnant. She was just a teenager, newly engaged to Joseph! I cried. Then she said the baby wasn’t Joseph’s. I wailed, covered my face, how could we bear such shame? What would everyone think? Mary sat quietly while I wept and ranted. Then she told me that the baby she was carrying was the Messiah. She would bring the one we had waited for into the world. My tears stopped. The look on her face, and something in my heart told me she was telling the truth. As I watched my daughter’s body change, I watched her change too, from a teenager into a woman, a mother. She smiled quietly at the curious stares in the neighbourhood and the whispers in the church. It didn’t seem to bother her to be misunderstood.

When Mary was in her last month of pregnancy, a census was called in Bethlehem and she said Joseph had to go and that she was going with him. I wanted her to stay home, have the baby here where I could help, but I could not persuade her. She said it was planned this way. I gave her a parcel to take with her, the bundle of birth cloths I had swaddled her in when she was born. You can imagine how my heart was wrenched when I watched them leave.

For weeks I waited for word, wondered how she was and if the baby had come. Finally word came, she had delivered a boy. In a barn! Oh, how angry I felt at this news. A barn, my daughter had the messiah in a stable! Didn’t they tell anyone who they were?
One night before going to bed, I was reading the scriptures from Isaiah, “Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall bear a son and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which means God with us.”

That virgin is my daughter. That child is my grandson. I have looked forward to having grandchildren one day. I even have a little trunk filled with things for them. Would the messiah play with teddy bears, I wondered. And the wonderful books I had collected about the creation of the earth, the flood and all, why he’d already know all about that! And grandparents are supposed to help out, protect their grandchildren from danger. How does one protect The Healer, the Protector, the Saviour of the whole world!

I’m not too sure how I am going to do as grandma to God. One thing I know for sure our family is never going to be the same again. This child whose birth you celebrate today can change your family too.  Merry Christmas.

©1995 Sharron R. McMillan

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