Friday, 19 December 2008

To the Outskirts of Bethlehem

Today looking out of my office window on the forth floor the rain splashes down (my favourite weather) and I am listening to a nostalgia trip with Faith No More's rendition of Easy, Jeff Buckley's version of Hallelujah and the Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra.

Yesterday I posted one of the meditations from my Advent Series. One of things I have thought about is what it was like for Mary and Joseph on the way to Bethlehem. What they said to each other, how well they knew each other. Any way the follow piece came from those ponderings.
I try not to say too much - to be annoying.
After all we don’t know each other that well… not as husband and wife.

Although in someway he has always been around, be it fixing our roof, or laughing out loud with the other men at a wedding feast.
Not ours though.

When the match was made I would peak from behind the curtain to see what he ate, how he prayed and provided, to imprint on my heart what it was that made him smile.

Just as my mother did before her wedding, I would look to his callused hands to see how soft they became when he cradled a child.
These are the things a woman in my village look for in a man.

Now though in this place - at this time, I am no longer sure of this stoic man who walks beside me.
Away from my mothers arms I am unsure how angry he may really be,
Yet no harsh words has he aimed in my direction.
No doubt has he cast on my claims out loud.
And for that gracious God …
I am most grateful in your choice of husband for me.

Last night we camped along the road side with some of his cousins, I heard them joke about how lucky he was to have such a pretty young wife.
But then I guess they don’t know what the rest of his family think of me.

Today I find myself even more grateful for the presence of my silent saviour. For without his care of me, and belief in our sacred charge, my fate would be that of the women we pass on our way.

The outcast, the lost, and the dead.

He has saved my life, - and aside from being kind of old, I know I am in the safest place possible out here on the road to Bethlehem, and away from the rising ire of those who once held me dear.

He says little - speaks more encouragement to the donkey on which I sit than to me!
At first I tried to make conversation, but what is there to say that can encompass that which is both too big and so small.

In the every day do I say “Excuse me husband but my butt has cramp and I am wondering if you can have a look at my toes and tell me if they indeed exist it has been so long since we met”

I sigh, and for a brief moment my stone faced husband smiles “My Miriam who would have ever thought I had married such a quiet wife, if you keep this up I will be the envy of all the men of Nazareth!”
We laugh for a moment and as night comes it is with relief and affection that I let such strong hands lift me down. Such a man you have given me to father our son on earth dear Lord.

Camping on the outskirts of Bethlehem surrounded by the cooking fires of fellow travellers we pull back the tent flap so the stars and the moon may shine down upon us, Joseph knows the stars by name.

Peace at last.
On the edge of sleep feel his hand on my belly “Sleep Miriam mine, God has gifted me you both to care for, and tonight at least all is well in the world.

Blessings on the Journey


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