It’s the week before Christmas and I’ve been thinking a lot about the characters in my nativity scene. Today my mind was filled with questions about Mary and Joseph and what those first months before the birth of Jesus might have been like. It was no PG Hallmark movie, I can tell you that.
Mary is young. Maybe 14 or 15. She’s engaged to Joseph, the young man down the street. This arrangement is not weird at all. In fact, it’s totally culturally normal and acceptable and expected. Girls get betrothed and married young. They are more of a property piece. Good ol’ Patriarchy.
As far as we know, there is nothing particularly special or unique about Mary. She’s a hard worker and a devout Jew and Joseph is happy with the match.
My fingers trembled around my phone as I hit “send.” The lump in my throat made my neck ache as I attempted to hold back tears. I could hear the muffled words of my husband and our Uber driver talking about this “awesome city” that would soon be our home. I tried to focus on what they are saying but my thoughts were filled with the dozens of things we would need to do in preparation for our move. My husband would start his new job in less than two weeks and, not wanting to do life in separate states, we would need to sell our house as soon as possible. My mind was swirling at the thought of telling our three children about the decision we’d just made. What about our parents? Our friends? Who would come to the kids’ birthday parties? What about our commitments and our obligations and the plans already written in pen on next month’s calendar?
With the four words of that text message, everything was changing.