This is the irrational season
When love blooms bright and wild.
Had Mary been filled with reason
There’d have been no room for the child.
Madeleine L’Engle from The Irrational Season
I’m remembering today, a story in part which seems so long ago, and then, it seems as if it happened just yesterday.
A card purchased, signed, sealed, addressed, and stamped. I longed to tuck this story inside. The gritty parts held tight thirty~nine years.
A teenage girl, freckles sprinkled across her nose, swollen with child. Swollen with fear, feigning bravado. Bravado, I could not find in any arsenal of survival accumulated in a mere seventeen years of life.
I realized straight away, once I found myself in this position, there was only one way out. The painful way. We chose life, chose marriage, chose the only right way. Chose to see it through.
We need only make room.
Alone in a room, a nurse, a doctor, and me, the doctor announced the words, “Tomorrow would be the day.”
I left there, heart trembling in fear, breath caught somewhere between the taking in and letting out. I delivered the news to the boy, seven months a man, seven months a husband.
I spent the afternoon making preparations, packing a bag, checking and rechecking the instructions I was handed. The day surreal, I would soon hold a baby in my arms.
The evening meal, grilled cheese sandwiches and Campbell’s tomato soup. Just another cold, ordinary day in a four room house, the wood stove giving off heat.
Sleep was not to be had that cold winter night. Tossing and turning, the image of me as a mother, I could not begin to grasp. The reality of birthing life through pain, beyond my comprehension.
Morning dawned, I survived the day through pain induced haze. The man child, thrived in spite of me. For all that I messed up, did wrong, he grew up strong.
In the growing up the three of us had to do, the boy thrived, the marriage crumbled.
On this day, looking back~thirty nine years, I can’t help thinking of another teenage girl ripe with child. Ripe with God, come in human form. What fears were swirling in her heart as she imagined how it would all turn out. What was going through her mind on the long donkey ride?
Did she have just an inkling of how it would end?
Did she know that through the pain, life would come?
The seemingly impossible would become possible?
That birth and death would bring life?
The time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. ~Luke 2:6b-7 NET
As I relive precious memories of that day thirty~nine years ago, I want to linger with Mary in this season. Linger in the waiting. Linger in the slowness of celebrating God in human form.
Linger in the remembering.
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If you are searching for a good read to snuggle up with in this season, check out the books I read in November.
Gifts of Grace