Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Hail Mary

I'm no theologian, not by a long shot, but I got to thinking about Mary last night. Some branches of the church believe that Jesus was an only child.

I know for some people it messes up the theology, but for Mary's sake, I hope this only child thing simply is not true.

Only one baby to feel kicking and swimming and thriving under her heart? Only one time to feel the power of life inside of her?

Only one pair eyes to follow her every move as she did the cooking and the wash? Only one pair of tiny hands to grab at her hair and only one pair of tiny feet to tickle and kiss?

Somehow, after all that God asked of her, to only have one child to love seems awfully cruel.

Think about it. Mary was young, unmarried, pregnant in the midst of a culture not exactly forward thinking on women's rights. To top it all off, she's going around telling everyone that the father of her baby is - get this - God. You think the other ladies of the town weren't whispering about her as they drew water and baked bread?

"Oy, did you hear about that Mary? G-d is the father of her baby? Poor Joseph. It's bad enough that she's expecting, worse that she's lying about it. He'd be mishsuggana to marry a girl like that."

What about her family? I don't recall much about them in the Christmas story. Someone tell me if I'm missing a big chunk of it here. Like I said, I'm not an expert.

Did her mom and dad disown her? What mother would let her hugely pregnant daughter be dragged across the country on the back of a donkey or on foot?

When she gave birth, she was in a strange town, and not one single door was open to her. Not any of Joseph's relatives, not a hotel or inn. No, she was stuck laboring in a barn like an animal. How humiliating is that? Was there even a woman present to be with her when the time came to give birth? With no midwife, was she pretty much on her own? No one to hold her hand or tell her what to do. I can't even imagine.

Then, not two years after her son is born, she's told to pick up everything she owns and leave the country. On foot. With a toddler.

The least God could have done for this poor girl is give her many children to cuddle and to bless her home.


Heth said...

I love thinking about the daily details of the people in the Bible.

Jennifer said...

I believe she had other children. I will have to look it up, though...I'll see if I can't come up with the source for you :)

Goslyn said...

There are references in the Bible to Jesus' brothers and sisters, I believe. However, some branches, like the Catholics, insist that Jesus was an only child, and that the "brothers and sisters" were really cousins. It's an interesting question, for sure.

Jess said...

This is so interesting! I wish more was known about her life. She must have been a very strong woman.

J-Tron said...

Then there's the Eastern Orthodox who believe that the biblical references to brothers and sisters are actually Joseph's children from a previous marriage. Kind of thin on evidence if you ask me. But whatever floats your boat, I guess. Personally, I find Mary to be extraordinary.

Have you ever heard the song "Mary" by Patty Griffin? If not, you should. It'll take your breath away.