Full of Grace (14)

Happy Thursday! I am looking forward to the upcoming three-day weekend and to getting some overdue work done. I’ll be back Saturday with another post and Sunday with another Six Sentences. In the meantime, enjoy the next installment of Full of Grace. If you’re new to the story, you can click here to start from the beginning. And if you’re enjoying it, please tell others about it. Enjoy your weekend.

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27 Iyar

The night air is chilly, but better than the day’s heat, Mary decides. After traveling for two days, the sun bearing down on her, the cool temperature is comforting.

Mary sits down in front of the campfire, listening as Joanna quietly sings to her son, lulling him to sleep. Mary’s father had paid her husband to take her to Hebron. He was part of a caravan, traveling with several other families and skilled workers from Nazareth to points north. There was safety in numbers and though there was always a threat from highwaymen or Romans even in a group, this was a better alternative to traveling alone. Especially for a twelve-year-old girl.

Woman, Mary corrects herself; a pregnant, engaged woman.

She sighs and turns away from the scene in front of her. This is the last thing she wants to think about right now. Tomorrow she would arrive at the home of her aunt and uncle. It had been years since she last saw them, but Mary recollects seeing her uncle perform the temple rites at the local synagogue. She remembers helping her aunt prepare meals. And she recalls the peace that filled their home, though they never had children…

Remember your relative Elizabeth, who was called barren? She is now six months pregnant, though she is past the age of childbearing.

The malakh’s words return to her suddenly and she realizes she had been so preoccupied with her own situation she didn’t remember Elizabeth was finally pregnant after a lifetime of barrenness. Mary smiles, imagining her aunt as a mother, offering the same love to her own child that she once gave her.

And if anyone was to believe Mary’s tale of meeting the malakh, it would be her.

Mary takes in a cold breath, comforted by the thought. She turns back to the fire and settles in to sleep.

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