And Mary said, ‘I’m bursting with God-news; I’m dancing the song of my Savior God.”
She is, let’s say, 16 years old. She’s not married. We must assume there’s a Mom and Dad around somewhere, and given the Deuteronomic law they live and move and have their being within, the parents have got to be upset. And her boyfriend has the legal religious right, almost obligation, to get a gang of his buddies together and stone her. To death.
She’s brought shame on her family, her fiance, her neighborhood, and herself. She deserves whatever happens to her!
Dirty, dirty, shame, shame..!
All right, what follows is my imagine gone wild. I’m imagining the wise-beyond-her-years Mary being aware of her predicament. She knows what it looks like to the world. Maybe she has put off telling anyone about that weird night that may have been a dream, but wasn’t, and now her belly is swelling and she knows she’ll be able to hide for awhile from the men around her but not her Mama. No, not her mom.
Her periods began just last year, and Mom has helped her each time to clean herself because that was important and the scriptures said that’s how a Mother and a girl should do it. This month, Mom would be asking why Mary was late, “Let me see,” she might say, and so Mary has to tell her, show her, and her breasts are sore now too and she is not afraid of her mother, but she is- afraid?- of all men even of her daddy when it comes to sex. Because that’s the only way a baby could get in there but she hadn’t done anything, had she? She doubted herself sometimes- maybe, somehow, what if?- but nono nonono- she knew what she knew and if nobody believed her she knew..
Will he believe her? Will Joseph believe her? Of course not, she already knows the answer, so what will happen?
Mary knows she should be afraid and part of her is-really- but it’s like she has to remember that she is supposed to be afraid because there is something really funny about this thing growing in her- this baby- a baby?- yes,a baby, she even imagined that she could feel it moving, she knew it was a boy, somebody said it was a boy, or she dreamed it was a boy, it’s funny because she feels..peaceful..and she doesn’t understand why and, in fact, she feels so peaceful, so full of some kind of joy she has never felt before that she stands between the olive tree and the back of her house and she raises her arms into the air and she laughs and she dances and she dances and she dances…
because it is the only thing she can do and it is the only thing she wants to do and she can remember to be afraid later..