Howdy! It was a lovely day today, made even better by the fact that I got to spend time with my family and now with you. Makes my heart all warm and gushy. I am posting the next part of Full of Grace. I hope you are enjoying it – if so, share it with someone. You can read it from the beginning by clicking here.

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30 Tammuz

Once again, Mary sits at the table in her room, staring with resolve at the blank parchment before her. She was done writing, asking for permission to come home. She was going home. But that would require her disobedience and she had never rebelled against anyone, much less her parents. She would be breaking one of the commandments – honor your mother and your father.

What choice did she have, though? Though she was enjoyed being with her aunt and uncle, she needed to go and live her life. She wasn’t showing yet, but she could feel her body changing. The sickness was not so bad anymore and was beginning to gain weight. Oh, how many times did she have to relieve herself in a day? Mary didn’t understand it, but when she thought about the honor G-d had bestowed on her, she knew she couldn’t deny his greatness in all this. And she couldn’t continue living as though she was guilty of wrongdoing.

Mary stands; she needs to talk to her and Zechariah. She walks over to the door, leaving the parchment on the table. Her footsteps are soft, hesitant as she makes her way to her aunt’s room. She hears her aunt laughing, then her uncle. It seemed strange to hear his voice after all this time; still, just listening to it now filled her heart with joy, because of the joy it brought Elizabeth.

And now John, who lets out a grunt.

Mary knocks on the door.

“Come,” Elizabeth says.

Mary enters and can’t help but smile at the scene before her. Elizabeth and Zechariah sit on the bed, with John between them, both attentive to the child. G-d could not have chosen more doting parents.

“He looks bigger today,” Mary states, walking over to them.

“As much as he eats, he ought to,” her aunt replies.

“John is a healthy eater,” Zechariah argues, even as his wife laughs.

“Ha, the boy is going to be spoiled,” she says.

Zechariah stops, an offended look on his countenance.

“No, he will be a good boy,” he says. His hand rests gently on the child, who lays quietly on the bed, as if listening to them. “It had been so long since I thought I could be a father, I will not dishonor G-d by raising John any other way but according to his law.”

Elizabeth smiles and pats his arm.

“I know. I was just playing.”

She kisses him. Mary blushes and looks away. She can feel her face grow hot and tries to remember why she came into the room.

“But you didn’t come in here to see two old people kiss, did you, Mary?”

She offers a sheepish smile, before looking up. Both have given her their attention and there is nothing but kindness in their eyes.

“No, doda.”

She takes a deep breath.

“I think it’s time…I mean, I’m ready to go home.”

Elizabeth and Zechariah look to each other. Mary can’t read their faces, can’t tell if it’s disappointment, or worse, amusement. Mary feels her heart beat faster and her face begins getting hot again. Surely they would understand, they wouldn’t deny her this…

Her aunt stands, making sure not to disturb John, and walks over to her. She lays her hands on her shoulders and meets her gaze.

“Are you sure?”

“Yes.”

“Then we’ll make arrangements.”

Mary doesn’t know how to respond. She expected more from them and this is what they offered?

Without even thinking, she blurts out, “What about the fact that I am dishonoring my parents?”

Zechariah rises slowing and joins his wife at her side.

“My dear, this is bigger than your parents, bigger than us. G-d has set his salvation in motion and we cannot stand in his way. Though I am honored that our G-d would allow you to be here, the mother of our Lord, you need to go home. There is no dishonor in following G-d.”

Mary is once again silent. She is glad for their love and appreciative of their understanding. It makes her heart swell and all she can do to respond is hug them. Surrounded by their warm embrace, she knows she is doing what is best.

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