The second in a series of entries in an imaginary journal, as we think about what might have been in the mind of Mary.
“God has looked with favor on the lowliness of God’s servant.”
I left town the first thing yesterday morning. I told Mom and Daddy that I really wanted to go see Cousin Elizabeth, and so they arranged for me to travel with a neighbor headed down that way. I’m a woman, so I’m not allowed to travel alone.
And it’s a good thing I went along. This guy has been known to get lost on the main road to Capernaum.
I know my parents trust me. Women just can’t travel alone, can’t own property, can’t decide whether or not to end our marriages. That’s just the way the world is, the way it has been for as long as anybody can remember. It isn’t good or bad. At least I don’t think it is; I’ve never really thought about it before.
I have been thinking about it a bit more since that Gabriel fellow visited me. I mean, I’m nobody. I’m just a girl, and a girl named “Mary,” at that. Do you know how many girls my age or about my age are named “Mary”? I haven’t even been with a husband—which, in my world, is all that gives me any worth at all.
Yet I have some kind of worth to God, who came into my life, who saw what I am, and who said there is someone worth something here. God even came and gave me a choice: I could be part of all this or not. Nobody ever really asked me what I want before, not over anything important . . . not even Daddy or Mom. It’s not that they didn’t care, but Mom didn’t get asked about such things, either.
It’s just the way things are.
But it’s not that way now, not for God. As unimportant—lowly—as I am, I matter to God. Maybe everybody who believes matters the same. Maybe everybody deserves to be asked, to be told, to be included.
Maybe I should have told my parents I’m pregnant. That keeps bothering me, making me uncomfortable in the pit of my stomach, which doesn’t feel all that good, anyway. Every morning I am sick for a bit. My neighbor might ask questions, but I’m too lowly for him to notice me at all. And he’s a friend of Joseph’s, so I’m sure he won’t try anything. I’m just a bit more cargo to him.
Again, I’m used to it. It’s just how things are.
The weird part is that I’m worth more to God. I never expected that. And, somehow, when you don’t expect anybody to think you’re worth anything, you don’t value yourself, either. And, when you don’t value yourself, you just go along with whatever. But since I began to think I am worth something to God, I think that maybe all of the world is worth something. When God gives me a choice, I begin to think that maybe my choices matter, that maybe how I live is important.
Maybe . . .
Maybe . . .
Maybe I could tell Daddy and Mom.
Maybe there is another way to live.
Maybe things are possible.
May it be . . .