One of the things that inspired me to write Full of Grace was the fact that Mary was young when her story as we know it began. Yes, we have to take into account that she lived in a different culture, but I think even then, at twelve or fourteen years of age, there was still more child in her than adult. I wanted to capture that, capture her natural side–something we often miss when we tell her story.
You can go here to read previous entries. Follow my blog so you can get notification of new postings (see sidebar). Or the book is available for purchase if you prefer to read it all in one lump. Note: there are Hebrew words sprinkled through it. You can find a listing of them and their definitions here. The next post will be April 1.
A warm breeze blows through the yard. Mary closes her eyes and tilts her head back, enjoying the sun as it warms her face. She opens her eyes again and looks up at the sky overhead, birds flying around in search of their next meal. All is quiet for the moment, as her sisters run around. Their ample energy had earned them an early playtime outside so Anna could clean up their mess inside, which left Mary to keep an eye on them. She watches as Kyla sneaks up on Oprah and tags her. Oprah turns and chases her. Kyla runs to Mary and grabs her dress, turning her around so Oprah can’t catch her. Oprah manages to get her arms around Mary and touch Kyla, both of them giggling. Mary smiles; she loved to hear their laughter.
“I got you,” Oprah cries and runs off.
Kyla smiles and runs after her. She stops in mid-stride though when she sees Oprah coming back towards her. She runs to Mary and grabs her hand, pulling her along. Mary’s veil flies off her head as they run in the opposite direction. She lets it falls to the ground and continues to play with her sisters, chasing them around the yard as if she were one of them.
The girls come to an abrupt stop as they realize Miriam, Joseph’s mother, is watching them, a look of disapproval on her face. Mary straightens up her posture and faces the woman. She is not much older than Anna, but her hair is grey, and her face permanently creased. Mary can’t recall ever seeing the woman smile and feels uncomfortable under her stern gaze.
“Where is your veil?” Miriam asks.
Mary lifts her hand to her head and smooths out her hair. She dares a glance behind her, where the veil lies on the ground. Turning back to Miriam, she opens her mouth to respond, but is cut off.
“What will others think, you running around like a common woman?”
Mary looks down under the weight of the chastisement.
“Where is your mother?”
Mary raises her head to see her mother approaching them.
“Where is your daughter’s veil? Is this how you let her behave?” Miriam states indignantly.
Anna places an arm around her.
“Mary was helping me with the little ones. I’m sure it just fell from her head,” Anna responds coolly.
“Well, she should have stopped to cover her head. It is her glory.”
“I’m sure she was going to do that,” Anna states, shooting Mary a pointed look before leading Miriam towards the house. “Come on inside.”
Unmoved by Anna’s comment, Miriam shoots Mary one last look of condemnation before following her mother inside. Mary sighs and walks over to her veil. Oprah and Kyla approach her as she picks it up and places it back on her head.
“Are you in trouble for playing with us?” Oprah asks quietly.
Mary hears the concern in her sister’s voice and smiles.
“No, I’m not. Come on, let’s go play something else.”