Gift? Or Riddle?
Joseph wakes her, by lantern-light. “We have to go. It’s not safe here.”
All Ears, their rickety donkey, snuffles. Joseph carefully settles Mary behind those elderly, twitching ears. Hands up the child.
Does she look back? Perhaps a kindly local woman supervised the swaddling, nursing, burping.
“Best to leave quietly,” Joseph murmurs. “Avoid questions about our destination.”
It’s cold. Mary misses her mother. Over the stony ground they plod, under uncountable stars—Mary’s longest night yet.
- Where will they live?
- Can she trust an Egyptian doctor?
- Will Joseph find work?
She shifts her son, easing cramped arms. Daily trips to a new village well will demand safely balancing him and the brimming water jar.
Can she do this?
You carry God’s gift wherever you must—Mary might say to us—each small goodness divinely implanted, whether within your arms or your mind or deep in your belly.
Over nine months, Mary has apprenticed her soul to the quiet arts: nurturing hope, pondering Mystery, carrying on.
The gift tears you open, she might add. There will be scars.
Mary’s endurance instructs me, as Dreamer and I continue seeking housing and medical answers.
Cherish each moment. Every good gift starts leaving your care long before you feel ready.
Perhaps we never fully comprehend that which God births within and through us. Child or brainchild, creation is God-breathed. Offer yourself and your work to this world, believing God will reanimate a fraction of its lost hope.
Head out into the unknown, friends, step-by-step.
“Living into the mystery of things helps us to release our hold on needing to know the answers.”*
“What Child Is This?” —acoustic guitar, Bill (Dreamer) Klein
Dreamer’s symptoms persist. He had more tests today, results next week, follow-up in 6 months. Our daughter is recovering well from surgery. Thank you for your prayers! We wish you all a wildly fruitful, delectable New Year!
*Final quote: Christine Valters-Paintner, from her marvelous New Year’s Eve post