By Becky Schlofner
Today someone told me what they had heard about my betrothed Mary and their words keep echoing through my head and attack me like spears straight into my heart. “They say Mary is pregnant with child.” How can that be? It isn’t mine. Did she cheat on me? Does she want someone younger? Why would she do this to me? Mary, we are married. I love you. I’m heartbroken. I don’t understand. I really don’t. I should divorce her. My family can’t live with this shame.
As I fell asleep thinking of how to talk to Mary about all of this, I had a dream. A strange winged being is in front of me bright as the sun itself appearing to be neither a man nor a woman.
“Joseph, Son of David, have no fear about taking Mary as your wife. It is by the Holy Spirit that she has conceived this child. She is to have a Son and you are to name him Yeshua (Jesus) because he will save his people from their sins.”(Mt. 1:20-21)
I woke with a start. Wait. Mary is pregnant by the Holy Spirit? That does change things. I wholly believe in God and His wonders. Abba, I will not fail you. I will stay with Mary and raise Your Son. I shared my dream with Mary and she shared with me a visitation she had had from an Angel of God. She had a visitation the same night I did, apparently. She relayed the message:
“Rejoice, O highly favored daughter! The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women. Do not fear, Mary. You have found favor with God. You shall conceive and bear a Son and give him the name Yeshua (Jesus).” (Luke 1:28,30-31)
Mary’s Son was to take the throne of David from me as well as rule without end as the Son of God. This is a lot to undertake. And I mean a lot! We speak for hours of what these words mean. What we are about to do. She decides to go live with her cousin Elizabeth for a few months. I begin making arrangements in my home to get Mary moved in. After all, I can’t very well explain to everyone why she is pregnant and the Son isn’t of my blood. When she returns from Elizabeth’s, she will come into my family home. We are now fully immersed into the holiness of the child she carries and of our mission for God. We realize the prophecy from Isaiah is to be fulfilled as we have studied even more our scriptures together to help us assimilate into our soon to be new world.
As life continues as normal with my carpentry for the town, Mary is getting closer and closer to birth. Word comes out that it is time for the census that the Romans bestow upon all of us. We have to be in Bethlehem, rather than Nazareth, since that is where I’m from. There is no way that Mary can make it walking there. Not for four days. We get the mule ready for her to ride and bring along provisions for the trip.
Keeping an eye out for bandits, we carefully make our way to Bethlehem. As we get closer to town we realize just how many people are there. I begin to worry about where we can spend the night. I start going into every inn I can find and each is full. Mary and I talk because now I’m even more worried because she is truly ready for birth anytime now and this can’t happen out in the open. Arriving at the last inn, I see the innkeeper who says “I’m sorry, but there is not any room left. I’ve rented everything out.” Please, I beg. Is there not any place for my wife who is ready to have our baby at any moment? A storage room would do. We need a roof over our heads. Please! I see his expression change as I speak. He’s thinking about how he can help; I can see his mind working. At last, he offers us his stable.
Running out to Mary, I help her off the mule. Making our way into the stable I explain to her that this is all there is. We can make do, I’m sure of it and I share with Mary my sentiment.
I fall asleep but am awakened by Mary. The time of birth has come. Trying my best to keep her calm, I see the head of our Son coming out with a cry. Grabbing my knife, I cut and tie the cord. I notice a very bright star shining in the night, making night almost day. Looking around, it almost seems to be landing on the stable.
Yeshua, You are going to be known by all men. Your mother and I will be here for you for your journey. God has commanded and I shall follow. Welcome to the world, my boy. I love you.