A Different Perspective

A couple of years ago I was asked to M.C. my church's Christmas banquet. I put a lot of thought into it, prayed for God to tell me what I should say.

In Grade 11 we were asked to write a monologue for someone in the Bible. A monologue is any composition, as a poem, in which a single person speaks alone. We were to write our monologues in the perspective of that Biblical person. My friend and I wrote ours about 2 blind men that encountered Jesus and he healed their eyes so they could see again. The actual passage in the Bible is so short, only a few verses, but writing this monologue from the blind mens' perspective made me appreciate it in a way that I had never done before. I could put myself in their shoes and imagine what it must have been like for them, having been blind their whole lives and then meeting Jesus and being able to see for the first time ever.

Given that I'm a Feeler, I relate to people, to their stories and to their emotions. I empathize with people. I cry with people who are crying and I laugh with people who are laughing. This exercise was perfect for me.

It gave me the idea to write a monologue from Mary's perspective of the 'Christmas Story' for the Christmas banquet. I wanted to share that monologue with you today. Please remember that these are just my own words and not everything will be 100% accurate but it's how I visualize the whole story in my head, when I think about Mary and what this must have been like for her. I did base my writing on the Bible and some study notes that I found in my Study Bible, but I added to it to make the story complete. So don't take it as being factual, that's not my intent for writing it, or sharing it. My intent is to maybe show you a different perspective, Mary's perspective.

Mary’s Monologue

I was raised in Nazareth. My family wasn’t very wealthy, quite the opposite actually. I worked at home as a homemaker, helping my mother with chores and duties around the house. Nothing too significant.
My husband’s name is Joseph. He was born in Bethlehem but moved to Nazareth where he worked as a carpenter. He is the most amazing man I’ve ever known. It didn’t take long for us to fall in love and we both knew that we wanted to get married. When we informed our parents about our desire to marry they gave us their full approval. My parents were delighted. They didn’t know of any other man that would be better suited for me than Joseph. I mean, he was pretty much perfect. Joseph is a man with strong beliefs and of great integrity. He is sensitive to God’s guidance and willing to do God’s will no matter what the consequences.

Joseph and I were betrothed when I was only 13 years old. This is similar to your engagements today. We had a marriage ceremony where we also signed marriage contracts. After the ceremony I was to live with my father for another year until I moved in with Joseph, or even slept in the same bed as him. Up until this point my life was perfect. I had just married the man of my dreams and everything from this point on would be like a fairy tale, where we would live happily ever after. Until one day, everything changed.

The day started off like any other day. It was the morning so I was working on my chores. I saw something out of the corner of my eye and when I turned to look I almost fell to the ground. There was an angel in my kitchen! I couldn’t get any words out of my mouth. The angel’s name was Gabriel. He was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. His words were soft as he spoke to me. He said, “Good morning, favoured one. The Lord is with you.” At this point I was really shaken up. I didn’t know what to make of a greeting like that. The angel assured me I had nothing to fear. “God has a surprise for you,” he told me, “you will become pregnant and give birth to a son and call his name Jesus.” You can only imagine the thoughts that were running through my head after hearing that. I asked the angel how this could be, seeing as I’d never even slept with Joseph, or any other man! He told me that the Holy Spirit would come upon me, and therefore, the child would be called Holy, Son of God. Then he told me that my cousin Elizabeth was 6 months pregnant, despite how old she was. Everyone claimed her to be barren but it proved that nothing is impossible with God. Slowly it started to make sense. Things were falling into place. I replied to the angel, “I am the Lord’s maid, ready to serve. Let it be with me just as you say.” And with that the angel left.

I sat down on a chair thinking through everything that just happened. Was this a dream? Am I really pregnant? With the Saviour? But why me, I wondered. Why was I- a poor, young woman with no status in society- chosen to take on such a task when there were thousands of other more suitable candidates to take my place? I couldn’t answer any of these questions on my own but the only thing I did know was that I was chosen by God to be the mother of this child. That fact alone gave me the courage and faith that I needed to take on this role despite the terrible things that people would say or think about me.

I didn’t want to waste any time so I got up and went to a town in Judah straight to Zachariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. She said that when she heard my voice the baby in her womb leaped. It was such a blessed moment. How great it was to see my cousin again and to see how happy she was with her own baby on the way and her encouragement to me as I prepared for mine. I stayed with Elizabeth for 3 months and then went back to Nazareth.

The whole trip home I thought of what I would tell Joseph. Would he be just as excited as I was that I would be giving birth to the Son of God? The fulfillment of the prophesy from so long ago? He had to be. Why wouldn’t he be? This was the best thing that would ever happen to all of humanity. There’s nothing to not be excited about.

When I got home, Joseph came to me and gave me such a big hug I thought I would burst. Oh how I’d missed him while I was away. He was asking me so many questions about my trip but I couldn’t hold it in any longer. I took a deep breath and told him that I was pregnant and was going to give birth to a son, but not just any son, the Son of God. I wish I could erase the memory of his expression out of my mind forever. I’d never seen him so hurt before in all the years I’d known him. He let go of my hand and backed away. Complete hurt and frustration and shock covered his face. Then tears started rolling down his face. He asked me why I did this to him. He thought I loved him. He didn’t understand why I slept with another man while being engaged to him. I tried my best to explain to him that I didn’t sleep with anybody and that an angel came to me and told me that I had conceived by the Holy Spirit- that God was using me to fulfill his prophesy. Oh did I ever try my hardest to make Joseph understand. It was more than he could handle and he just walked out the door. I sat there, feeling so alone, crying uncontrollably into my hands. What had I done? Joseph was the one man I’d ever loved. The only man I ever wanted to love. Now I might have lost him forever. Why had I agreed to have this child? Was it really worth it? I quickly pushed the doubts aside and knew that this was what I was meant to do. God needed me right now more than I needed Jospeh. I gave it up to God and trusted that he would speak to Joseph and help him to understand.

I can only imagine the thoughts that were going through Joseph’s mind at the time. And I certainly don’t blame him for feeling the way he did. It was expected that if a wife cheats on her husband he has the right to divorce her, and often it went further to her getting stoned for her unfaithfulness. But Joseph, being the righteous man that he is, did not want to disgrace me, no matter how upset he was with me. But while he was figuring out how to handle the situation, he had a dream. In that dream an angel spoke to him and told him not to hesitate to marry me because my pregnancy was Spirit conceived. The angel told Joseph that he was to name the baby Jesus, which means 'God saves'. I’ll never forget the moment he came rushing into my home, swooped me into his arms and looked me in the eyes and told me he was sorry. He told me about his dream and the angel and everything. We both stood in each others arms for what seemed like years, tears streaming down both our faces. I’d never been so relieved in my life. I had my Joseph back. Together we would get through this pregnancy.

As it got closer and closer to my due date I got more and more tired and sore. Joseph was amazing though, always ready to help with whatever he could and a constant encouragement to me.

Right around the time that my baby was due we had to travel a very long distance to Bethlehem, Joseph’s hometown, for a census to be taken. I was so big and uncomfortable at this point and starting to worry because my baby could come at any moment. When we got to Bethlehem we looked for somewhere to stay. All I wanted to do was crawl into a nice comfortable bed and sleep. The journey was so long and tiring. It was just our luck, though, all the inns were full. There was not a single place available for us to sleep in. One of the inn keepers offered us his stable to stay in. Did we really have any other choice at this time? We accepted his offer and went to the stable. It was a roof over our heads but that was about the only good thing to say about it. It smelled of animals and manure. It was cold. It was loud. The only thing to sit on was hay. Not an ideal situation for a pregnant woman, or anyone for that matter.

Then it started. Oh the pain was so severe. My only thoughts were, God please not here. Not now. This isn’t were I want to give birth to the Messiah, let alone any baby! Whenever I pictured giving birth I always assumed it would be in a bed, in a house, with clean sheets and people educated in delivering a baby. What did this stable have to offer? Cows and goats. We didn’t even have a crib! This was definitely not your ideal situation. But there was nothing I could do but trust God.

I gave birth that night to a son, the most beautiful child I’d ever seen. We wrapped him in some cloths that we had and laid him in a trough- where you would put food for the cows.. It was the most blessed experience I’d ever encountered. We knew that this child was a gift from God and would become the greatest man to ever walk the face of the earth. We named him Jesus, just as the angel told us to.

His story doesn't end there, though, but I'll leave that for another day!


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