Last year, I wrote this, imagining Mary on day she gave birth to Jesus.
But what about the day after?
The three wise men have already shown up at the door to the stable to worship the baby Mary has just delivered. She is in so much pain, the baby is hungry, Joseph didn’t know what to do with the placenta, so it’s rotting in the corner, hidden by a bunch of hay. Mary’s first visitors are strangers, giving her son gifts that have no practical purpose. Where are the warm blankets? A soft doll? Food for Mary?
And besides dealing with the men and their strange gifts, there’s Joseph, who has been acting strange all night. He still doesn’t believe her that this baby is a miracle. Calm down, Joseph, I didn’t cheat on you. He doesn’t look like you because you’re not his father. No man is his father. Do I sound crazy? Mary wonders.
And where are they going now that the baby has been born. She’s not getting back onto that donkey, not after a baby has just been extracted from her womb. Will they find adequate lodging? When will the animals stop braying and pooping and waking up her baby?
And this baby. The son of God. How could she be entrusted to raise him? What had she done to be the chosen one to carry him and be his mother? As Mary looked at this screaming, hungry child, she marveled at everything. But mostly she was just tired and thirsty and wanted to get the hell out of this barn.