Son of Mary

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It was a happy day in Nazareth. Mary was engaged to be married to Joseph, a noble carpenter who had many friends in their village. Mary loved Joseph with all her heart, and he treated her as a kindly as any man who loved a woman would. She was off to visit the traders, who always had inspired her with their tales from places abroad. She was hurrying, hoping that the Caravan was not already on its way out of the village.

It was a personal matter, and something she had not told Joseph about. Mary knew a man there, he was fair skinned and was always willing to tell her stories. The last time she visited the Caravan, they had come with goods from Bethlehem and they brought with them tablets of clay, scrolls of papyrus and vellum. The man who told her stories, Simon, was also teaching Mary the art of letter making. 

Mary reached the Market Place, but the Caravan was no where in sight. Though she felt they must be close. It was late afternoon. But she must get there. She noticed some markings on the ground of the marketplace, camel prints, and so she followed them. Soon she was running, it was late and she needed to get home and prepare supper.

Finally Mary caught site of the caravan along with the tents. Mary, feeling bolder than usual walked toward the trader’s campsite with her hand in her sheepskin purse, touching the money.

“Simon!” Mary called out.

Simon had come just then, carrying in his arms something precious. She reached out and held his hand for a moment before he handed her the sheets of vellum.

“I don’t know how I can ever thank you.” Mary said.

“Go home and prepare your husband’s meal, do not tell him of this gift Mary.”

Mary stuffed the vellum into her purse. She could not help but notice the way the other traders were watching her, had she committed a crime? She could not think of any reason that she had. So she walked back to the house.

She was lucky to find Joseph was still working hard in the workshop and had not noticed her coming home. The bread had already risen. Mary seperated and folded the dough into flat cakes over cheese, before putting them into the oven.

That evening she and Joseph sat upon the roof, they ate their food whilst watching the stars. Then Mary climbed down the ladder to the first floor where she slept. Joseph remained watching the stars and eventually fell asleep gazing at a bright star on the horizon.  Mary was surprised to find she had slept too deep. In her dreams she was walking alongside a sparkling river. The river had spoken to her.

Mary, whose eyes are ever so bright. Oh Mary, may you sleep well tonight. Oh bright Mary, Oh Mary so bright.

Mary quickly dressed and found her blank letters still in her purse.  Then she went out to the garden and picked some ripe figs. She crushed them and poured the juice into a small bottle. She had formed an ink with which she could write her letters. 

It was late in the day when she went out to market to look for a writing instrument. She searched and in vain, and went out to see if the Caravan was still there. The Caravan was gone, but there were still tents, only four. Drawing closer, she noticed that there were just a few men and were eying her darkly.

The men were sitting around a blazing fire, and one of them was eating a piece of bread.  His gaze was blazing as brilliantly as the fire. Then he threw the bread down angrily and approached her.

“Why do you disturb us? What do you have to do with my brother?” The man asked Mary.

It was then that she noticed how fair and yellow his skin appeared.  She did not know where Simon was, and had no idea of how to answer.

Suddenly the other three had their hands upon her. She wanted to kick away, but she couldn’t get free of their grasp. The men forcibly threw her down into one of their tents. Then the man who had approached her had her arms pinned to the floor of the tent.

“May God forgive you.” Mary said coldly before he pressed his hand to her mouth.

It was dark when Mary got home. Though she had not been beaten, she knew the very dangers that were ahead for her and Joseph. She crept into her bed, without fixing dinner and fell into a dream.

Her dream was frightening, first she saw the mountain rise up before her and then the ground swell up with red fire. Out of the flames rose a strange beast, it laughed at her and said, “Mary, thou frightened child. Your fate of blood, your fate in stone. Mary, the virgin, Mary thou art all alone!”

Mary looked upon the beast with awe and confusion.

She knelt upon the fire and bowed her head as the demon taunted.  But then there was a voice, of which came out of nowhere at once.

“Mary, my name is Gabriel. I am come to save you my child. You are strong, Mary. Do not blame man for man is one with God, your father. Profess your love for him as you carry his son.”

“Are you an angel, Gabriel?” Mary spoke.

“I am the angel Gabriel,” the voice said that sounded neither male nor female.

“I have come to tell you that you will give birth to a son, a son who will shake the foundations of this land. You must tell no one of your secret. Do you agree?”

“I belong to the Lord, body and soul. I will tell no one the secret,"  She replied.

The angel then promised to return.

And so it was that Mary carried out her daily chores, not letting on to Joseph what had happened. All the while she was fearing what was to become.

It happened as the angel had said, and as she had anticipated, Mary was again visited in the night of the sixth month by a beautiful voice, this time she saw Gabriel’s form. A bright radiant being dressed in robes of white.

When Gabriel spoke it sent both glory and fear into her heart.

“Mary! Tell Joseph of this dream in the morning. Tell him what I have told you. Remember, Mary, that his name will be Jesus.”

Mary did as the Angel had instructed, and told Joseph of the dream. At first he did not believe her, and then she knelt down and wept at his feet.  He was overcome with a feeling of understanding. The next night he had a dream, so real that he could not deny it. The Angel Gabriel had visited him and told him that Jesus was the son of God.

Though Joseph had been frightened, he confessed that his faith was not as strong as Mary’s and promised to the Angel that he would protect her for the rest of his life.