Full of Grace (45)

I’ve fallen behind in my posts, but that’s okay (for now) because the book is done! It will be available Monday, though I will continue posting excerpts until Christmas. You can read the story from the beginning, by clicking here. Thanks for stopping by. 

* * *

“You know they won’t stop,” Mary utters, the sorrow in her voice unmistakable.

Anna knows the truth of the matter, but she wants to believe otherwise: that the others in town would stop talking about Mary and Joseph; that they would stop troubling Mary when she was out; and that life for her oldest child would return to normal. She didn’t know how that was possible, given what G-d had called her to, but it was her prayer. At the very least, Anna could cheer Mary up. She straightens up and puts a smile on her face.

“Never mind them. How is my nekhed (grandson)?”

Mary places her hand on her belly and replies with a smile, “He’s very active. All he does is kick, sometimes day and night.”

The thought of Mary as a mother was still foreign, but after accepting G-d’s role in this affair following Joseph’s visitation with the malakh, made it all more…palatable. In truth, Anna couldn’t help but marvel, not just at G-d, but her own transformation of faith. And she was more than happy to be a doting savta (grandmother). Placing her hands on top of Mary’s, Anna says, “Well now, he’s going to have to slow down some to give his imma a rest, isn’t he? How is Joseph?”

“Well.”

“And Miriam?”

Mary doesn’t respond. Anna releases Mary’s hands and pulls her in for a hug.

“I’m sorry I didn’t believe you; perhaps your situation would be as bad as it is…”

Mary pulls away.

“It’s not your fault, imma. You couldn’t have changed any of this.”

Anna sighs, knowing she’s right. Still, when she thought about it, she couldn’t help but feel it was her disbelief that made things worse for Mary. What if, what if, what if…ultimately, though, it did them no good for her to think this way. She had to be practical.

“Have you talked to Joseph about all this, about his mother?” Anna asks.

Mary shakes her head. Anna gives her a soft smile

“Mary, you are still young, so I want you to listen and tuck this away in your heart. You are blessed and highly favored, regardless of what others have to say. G-d has chosen you, but he has also chosen Joseph. You aren’t alone; you don’t have to bear this burden alone. Your abba and I will always be here for you, but you are now one with Joseph; let him be there for you, in the good and bad. We have no guarantee that any of this will get any better, but G-d has given you with his grace to make it through all this, to survive and you will.”

Though she had been intent in her listening, Mary now chuckles.

Doda would often speak of G-d’s grace. She said it didn’t assure success, but that he was working through our lives.”

Anna smiles and muses, “My sister always had great binah.” Mary nods in agreement. Anna adds, “Mary, talk to Joseph. He loves you and will see to it you are well-cared for.”

Mary seems hesitant, but she finally says, “I will.”

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