Welcome back! I didn’t get home until late last night and was unable to post the next entry for Full of Grace. It’s been over a week since Mary learned of her destiny, one she quickly embraced, but also discovered she alone was enthusiastic about. Her parents dismissed the news and life went back to normal for everyone but Mary.
The book is available for purchase if you prefer to read it all in one lump, as I haven’t decided yet if I am going to delete the previous postings. Note: the book has Hebrew words sprinkled in it. You can find a listing of them and their definitions here. The next post will be March 18. Enjoy.
Mary is attentive as Anna closes the Morning Prayer.
“So be it,” Anna says.
“So be it,” Mary, Oprah and Kyla repeat.
Without being told, Mary grabs her veil and covers her head. Then she picks up the water jar and says, “I’ll get the water, Imma.”
Anna nods her head as Oprah and Kyla jump up and down, vying for her attention. Though her mother is distracted this morning, Mary suspects Anna knows why she is so anxious to do her chores—she hopes to see the malakh at the well again. She has been obedient and not brought up the incident in the week since she saw him, but it has been constantly on her mind. And how could it not, when every morning she uttered the same prayer, ‘I am available to you, Adonai, that I might be the mother of your Mashiac.’ The prayer holds new meaning for her: she was the Chosen One. G-d had regarded her, a lowly maiden. He had favored her and promised a great work, much as he had done for her forefathers. And that was wonderful news…until Mary considered her parents’ reactions and she began to doubt herself, doubt her senses. Perhaps she had imagined the whole incident, perhaps it was her overly active imagination. Maybe none of it was real.
It’s this thought that has her rushing to the well but there is no malakh waiting on her, only Rachel, an older girl from town, who was as condescending as she was pretty—probably the only thing keeping her unwed.
“Shalom,” Rachel greets her.
Mary forces a smile and replies, “Rachel.”
“I heard Joseph came by your house last week.”
“He brought me a gift,” Mary says, as she places her jar beside Rachel’s.
“That’s so precious.” Mary detects sarcasm in her tone, as Rachel continues. “I had several suitors when I was your age and they often brought me gifts. All different kinds, perfumes, jewels, clothes – oh, one of them even brought me a silk cloth. Can you imagine? He said he had traded for it with a man from the Orient.”
Mary smiles again, wanting to be polite.
“Of course, the suitors couldn’t come up with a dowry, so my abba turned them away. That’s alright; because I am more mature now and know those men would not have been good for me. I am waiting for the right one.”
Like Joseph, Mary thinks. Rachel had hoped he would court her, since they were the same age and he was a handsome man. But Joseph didn’t. And Rachel remained unmarried.
“How is your imma?” Rachel asks her.
“She is well. My sisters keep her busy,” Mary responds.
“That’s good. It’s inspiring, you know, that she was able to find someone and bear children at her age. It offers hope to the rest of us.”
“She’s not so old,” Mary insists. True, her mother was older, but not as old as Rachel implied.
“Oh, of course not. I didn’t mean to suggest that,” Rachel states, patting Mary’s hand. “I was just saying she is blessed, that’s all.”
Rachel smiles innocently, but Mary knows she is not.
“Well, let me get back before my imma worries. Oh, and be careful; I’ve heard there are strange men hanging around here.”
And with that, Rachel picks up her water pot and heads home, leaving Mary to wonder what her admonition was supposed to mean. Romans? Rogues? The malakh? Mary sighs and decides she doesn’t really want to know.