Continuing a series of entries in an imaginary journal, as we think about what might have been in the mind of Mary.
“God has filled the hungry with good things.”
Things here at home have been so much better than I had hoped they could be. The moment I got home, Mom and Daddy and I had a long, and sometimes loud, talk. They could tell, the moment I walked in the door, that I was pregnant; that was when the loud part began. I thought, for a moment, that Daddy was going to drag me to the synagogue himself, to have me cast out of the community, or maybe even stoned to death! But, as angry as they were, as hurt, as surprised . . . shocked . . . as they were, I could still see love in their eyes. Mama was on the point of tears, and they wouldn’t listen to a word I said—at first—but they didn’t hit me, they didn’t throw me out, they didn’t take me to have the elders and the rabbi decide my fate.
After a bit, they accepted the note Cousin Elizabeth sent home with me. I’ve no idea what it said: it was for my parents, so I didn’t look. That’s how I was brought up. Whatever the note said, it helped Daddy and Mama calm down quite a bit, and look at me in a new way. They listened to what I said about Gabriel, about God’s promise that I’m so sure of, about all my praying and struggling to understand and go along with this calling, and to live up to God’s faith in me.
Things went better than I could have dreamed of with Joseph. Apparently, Gabriel visited him while I was away. Joseph said he had a dream; that probably made it easier for him to handle the whole thing. But no matter how it happened, my honey was ready to accept all of this, and accept that it is of God. I’ve moved in with Joseph as of a few weeks ago, the final step of betrothal in our tradition: to set up housekeeping and to bundle until it’s time for the wedding. We understand that getting married is a process and not just a party. So, we are doing what needs to be done, getting ourselves ready for marriage and parenthood, all coming a lot closer together than we would have chosen. There are a few town gossips who are getting quite a bit of mileage out of my ever more obvious condition; my fiancé tells them off who polite silence and an absolutely steely stare when he overhears them. I may be the talker in this family, but his way seems to be working okay.
God definitely fills the hungry with good things. We might think that would mean food and money and so forth, and sometimes it has to be that, but not so often as we seem to expect. I haven’t ever been destitute, not really. Joseph and I are getting by, even if it is just barely, on occasion. But I was hungering for something more in my life, even if I didn’t quite know it. This doesn’t mean I couldn’t have been complete without a husband and a baby—and, while I know a lot of people in my world would think this Jesus is what God has filled me with, that’s just gross—but I did need a mission; I did need a sense of purpose. I needed to be filled with the sense that who I am and what I have to say, even when it’s just a “yes,” makes a difference in the world. Because of what God has called me to do, I look at myself and the world in a whole new way.
I am thinking that this is the sort of good thing with which God sometimes fills those of us who are hungry, those of us who are lacking in what this world thinks is important, those of us who are on the margins. God gives us a role, a sense of purpose, a way to make a difference. Now, I don’t think this means we get to skip out on making sure those who need food—or clothing, or shelter—get it, but God sees those who the world sort of ignores, those who are hungering for something more, as the fertile ground for making Creation into what God expects.
Or, at least that’s what it seems like to me. Right now, at least. We are people of God’s possibilities, and God won’t leave us empty unless, I suppose, we refuse to take what God offers.