Sunday, December 11, 2016

Mary's Song

She gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger  -Luke 2:7
Her new baby wails tiny mews through barely open eyes, she shushes him and wraps her cloak against the cold while he suckles noisily at her breast. Her uterus contracts and blood stains mar the straw beneath them, a reminder of the messy ways life wrestles itself into the world. Eventually she hands baby Jesus to Joseph, who wraps him tightly in swaddling cloths expertly, his arms pinned to his side and his lips sucking while he sleeps. Joseph presses his lips to Jesus’s wrinkly forehead, his scratchy beard making his son’s eyes twitch and nose scrunch. Mary gazes quietly with joy over her son, with unknowing and knowing, with fear and hope, and with the kind of expectancy that brims with all the promise of new life. Finally they all three recline and surrender to sleep beneath the holy noisy peace that night.

Everything is ordinary and extraordinary all at once, just like for every new parent; Mary's muscles sore and hearts full from the excruciating joy of birthing something new. The weary parents wake too soon to baby coos and the bleats of lambs carried by shepherds, arriving with angel songs on their lips. They are unlikely subjects for an unlikely King, for the son she swelled with and carried and broke herself open to bring forth. She nestles Jesus closer into her still-soft young curves, bending herself into the crook of Joseph’s arms while the donkeys bray and the stars blink bright overhead like one million times the sky failed to contain the brilliance of heaven.

Mary breaks off a piece of unleavened bread and gives thanks for the scandal tucked in the crook of her arm and the man snoring beside her who married her anyways. She glances over and locks eyes with her donkey and offers thanks for the things that carried her through, as stubborn and grouchy as they might be. She slips her shoulder from her blanket as Jesus blinks his eyes open. She imagines she sees herself in the slant of his nose, in the particular shade of his brown eyes set beneath thick dark brows. She strokes the down on his cheeks, follows the curve of them down his neck, wondering if she sees his Father’s wisdom set behind his eyes trained somewhat unsteadily on her face. Wonders if perhaps it’s his Father she discovers in the perfection of his tiny fingers and toes, He who she notes in the strength of his wail. She smiles lightly and winces equally in pain, lifting Jesus back to her breast and she begins a new conversation with the flesh of her flesh who has come to rescue them all.


2 comments:

  1. Love this. Keep making time to write, your words are a gift and I love to read them! Praying for your family this season.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Beautifully written. Thank you!!!

    ReplyDelete

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