Friday, March 23, 2018

The Birth of a Promise – Honorable Mention

December 21, 2010 by  
Filed under Monthly Articles

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Mary lay back, muscles trembling, exhausted from giving birth. In the exhilaration of the moment she hardly noticed the prickly straw and the rank odour of cows and sheep. “At last,” she whispered. “The fulfillment of God’s promise.”

Her mind went back to the day the angel appeared. You will give birth to a son, he said, and he will save his people from their sins.

The baby stirred in her arms and Mary gazed down at him. The promise was beyond comprehension and she had the sense that she was beginning a great journey. Unwrapping the cloths, she caressed his tiny feet and began to pray. “Where will these feet go, Lord? Will they walk many miles and spread good news? Who will wash the dust from them after a long day on the road? What plans do you have for this child?”

She dropped a kiss on the infant’s forehead and stroked his hands. They were tiny and fragile but he surprised her by curling one around her finger. His grip was tight and firm. “What will these hands do, Lord? What skills will this child have? Will he work with wood like Joseph or will he fish? Will he write edicts and issue laws?”

Baby Jesus whimpered softly and she tucked him to her breast, the action instinctive. “And what of his voice, Lord? Will it be strong and resonant, the sound of a leader? Will it be the voice of a king who issues commands? And what will he say to me? Will he call me mother?”

The baby suckled, content, peaceful, staring up at Mary with dark eyes. Even now she could see something stirring in them; a sense of purpose, a knowing. “This child is the fulfilment of your promise,” she whispered. “Let his life be according to your will.”

As she closed her eyes, shadows flitted briefly, muted images without substance. She saw dusty roads and a man walking many miles. She saw those same feet standing upon hills, walking on water, feet wet with tears and fragrant perfume. She saw strong hands, calloused from hard work. Hands that reached out and touched, healing flowing, life pouring. Fingers doodling in the sand as a prostitute wept nearby. Tender hands that cared. She heard a voice speaking truth and life, resonating throughout the synagogue, echoing across the land. Words of mercy and compassion, comfort and reassurance, truth and righteousness.

Joseph touched her on the shoulder and she looked down to see Jesus sleeping, milk dribbling down his chin. “You need to rest,” Joseph said lifting the baby and cradling him to his chest. “I’ll put Jesus in the manger. He’ll be safe there.”

Mary nodded, feeling the first pangs of separation and grief. “He will save his people from their sins,” she whispered. “Let it be as you promised, Lord.”

And she laid these things up in her heart and treasured them.

Debbie Roome

Debbie Roome was born and raised in Zimbabwe and later spent fifteen years in South Africa. In 2006 she moved to New Zealand with her husband and five children. Writing has been her passion since the age of six and she loves to write stories that touch people’s lives and turn them towards God. Her recent writing achievements include the publication of her first novel, Embracing Change, in September 2010 and placing second in the Faithwriter’s Page Turner Competition in December 2010.
Author of Embracing Change

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