Gabriel has said, “Mary, you have nothing to fear.”
As I lay on my back, I searched the openings of light for an angelic return. I needed to hear those words again, but I could not. My hearing was dulled by all the noise, but I smelled everything. Wet hay. Joseph’s sweat. The dung of oxen and sheep. And I smelled my own fear.
I felt everything as well. The hay prickling my calf. Joseph’s hand steadying me. The body heat of animals nearby. The brooding between my legs. And the fear.
“Joseph, help me to my knees.”
When you are afraid, you reach out for the familiar. In that moment I wanted to feel my knees. When Gabriel first stood before me, I was holding my knees. Now that the time was coming, I wanted to feel them once more, get my bearings. If this Son would truly hold the throne of David, then I would birth Him on bended knee.
A part of me had expected divine intervention, a lightening of the birth. But it never came. For the Son of the Highest to be also the Son of Man, He had to be tested in all the ways as we are, including His birth.
“Let … it ..”
“I’m here Mary. Just a little more.” My dear Joseph’s voice.
“Let … it … be … to …”
“His head, Mary. I see it.”
“Let … it … be … to … me.”
Then a sound pierced my heart. His cry.
Still on my knees I reached between my legs and raised my newborn son. “Truly, this is the Son of God.”
Adapted from Touching Wonder: Recapturing the Awe of Christmas by John Blasé.