June 17, 6 B.C.
Hallelujah! Glory to Yahweh! I have been given a wife, a woman of unsurpassed beauty. Her name is Mary. We were engaged yesterday afternoon. Last night I dreamt of our first meeting. I saw her struggling at the well.
“Let me help you with that,” I offered. She looked up from her jar and into my eyes and I was overcome.
Here eyes were dark as olives. Her skin was like silk, beautifully brown. I felt the silk as our hands brushed against the jar. Her lips were full with the color of a dark rose. I was captured by her beauty.
But as we went to rest under a sycamore tree, I was captured by her gentle reflective spirit. She was a woman who ran deep; as deep as the well she drew water from.
It was that day that I fell in love with this deep, beautiful, young woman who loved Yahweh like no one I had ever known. The next day I told my parents, “Yahweh has given me the woman I will marry”.
July 13, 6 B.C.
Confusion. Mary has left suddenly for her cousin Elizabeth’s home. She seemed distracted, so unusual for Mary. She left in such haste and was vague as to the reasons why. A quick kiss on my cheek and she turned and hopped onto the caravan. We waved to each other. She had the strangest look on her face. Wonder? Perplexed? Joy? Troubled? I think all of the above.
“Go with her Yahweh,” I whispered under my breath. I felt something slide down my cheek, an uninvited tear.
October 17, 6 B.C.
I looked up from my workbench to see what all the commotion was about. Then I fairly screamed for joy as I ran to the coming caravan. It was my Mary. The caravan stopped. She slid into my arms with a half smile to meet my unrestrained one. “Dear Mary. What is it?”
Joseph we have to talk. She led me to our tree. The one we had carved our names into.
“Joseph… (tears)…Joseph”…”Mary, what? You can tell”…
My hand brushed her swollen abdomen. Silence between us. The type of silence from the heart that turns inward on itself.
“Joseph, it’s not what you think.”
“And what do I think Mary? What can I think but that you could not find completeness in me? You’ve betrayed me but you’ve shamed Yahweh. Mary, Mary how could you?”
“Joseph, I understand how upset you are but please let me explain.”
She was frantic to explain to me, as her heavy tears pounded the dirt beneath us at the foot of our tree.
“Joseph, you must believe me. I have not been with any man. I would never betrayed you but most of all I would never shame Yahweh as you suggest.”
She cupped my face in her silk, brown hands. As always when she looked in my eyes I was overcome. I knew I had to listen to the Mary I thought I knew.
“Joseph this is the doing of Yahweh. An angel visited me. I am not making this up. He told me that God has chosen me to bear the Messiah. This pregnancy…my pregnancy is by the Holy Spirit. I don’t understand this Joseph but I gave myself to Yahweh in obedience. Joseph! This baby will need a father.”
I pulled back from her in sadness and disbelief. What had happened to my Mary? Was she ill?
“Mary, though I could have you stoned I will not. I could never do that to you. The woman I love. But there is no way I can be part of this with you. I cannot take on your shame. I will divorce you quietly and secretively. Your life will be spared and I will move. I loved you Mary. I still do. Yahweh be with you and have mercy on you.” I turned my back and walked away, listening to her sobbing. I wept as well.
October 18, 6 B.C.
I bolted from sleep covered in a cold sweat. I quickly wrapped myself in my clothing. I had to get to Mary immediately.
I ran the few hundred yards to her home. Our sleepy little village had not stirred as of yet. The morning sun was peeking above the hills like it was announcing the coming of a different type of light about to enter the world. And I knew the name of that Light.
I came to Mary’s window and pulled the curtain aside. I heard quiet sobbing from the left corner of the room. There sat Mary, on her mat, face in her hands.
“Mary,” I whispered as loud as I dared. I startled her. She looked up in panic. “Mary, it’s me Joseph.”
She looked around and arose, gingerly tip-toeing across the room to the front door. I could tell she was confused and a bit fearful. I took her hands in mine after I embraced her. Don’t be afraid, Mary.
She pulled back and said, “Joseph, you are sweating. Are you ill?” I smiled back at her and said, “Mary, you will make a wonderful mother. Come with me beloved.” I then walked her to our tree and told her of my visitation.
“Mary, the angel that came to you also came to me last night.” He said, “Joseph, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. She is pregnant by the Holy Spirit.”
Mary looked into my eyes with her mouth open. Then her mouth formed the most beautiful smile I had ever seen. It was a smile of Light like the morning sunrise. I saw the Light in her eyes and I felt the Light in her womb as we embraced.
She repeatedly kissed me saying, “My dear, sweet Joseph. We will make it through this. We are in Yahweh’s will though it will mean suffering. But we will make it through this by his mercies.” Her tears again watered our tree. Through my beloved Mary would the Tree of Life come back to us all.
Next: A donkey’s journal…