I wonder how it felt by Tracy Williamson

Like Sarah in yesterday's post, I had such good intentions to write my blog for the 27th Dec well in advance and schedule it to be posted at the right time, well clear of the manic Christmas weekend.  This is what so many of you do really successfully and I so aspire to that level of organisation, but never quite achieve it!  So as my household retired to bed tonight at the end of this busy Boxing day, I headed to my computer, thinking what on earth can I write on at the end of this long day? I ran this thought and that thought through my mind but nothing seemed to quite gel, that is, not until I began to wonder . . .

And what did I wonder?  I found myself wondering how it felt to be Mary on this 3rd day after the birth of her son?  So much energy had been poured out in getting to this place, the journey so long, the road so hard, the pain unendurable, the fear of what was to come constantly threatening to unseat her deep assurance of what she had seen and heard, what her own body told her was true. And Joseph, she could see his form as she swayed on the donkey's back.  He was walking steadily in front of her, guiding the donkey with word and touch.  She could just hear the soft thrum of his voice, but not his words.  Her Joseph, so calm and strong, standing by her despite his right to spurn and even have her killed.  How she loved him and longed for this mighty time to be good for his sake too.  Mile after mile they;d plodded, each step bringing new levels of pain.  And then those frantic minutes when they'd arrived but had nowhere to stay,  She'd felt furious then, silent accusations burning through her pains.  How could God ask her to house and carry His precious son, yet fail to provide a safe place for her to stay? What was He playing at?  Was she just a misguided fool?

And now on this third night since she'd stared into His face for the first time and marvelled that He looked so normal, I wonder how she felt?  

I wonder how she felt? I wonder how you feel? Or that lady walking slowly along the road? Or the man staring back at the closed door of his workplace at 9.30 am, confusion and shock written across his face?  I wonder how it felt to be Joseph, desperately out of his depth yet trying with his whole being to be true to God's call? How did it feel to have that level of uncertainty, to not even know exactly what she would bring to birth? 

And on this day when the shock is just beginning to settle and she felt a strange peace just from staring into her new-born's face, I wonder how she felt?

Taking time to wonder, to imagine, to feel and reflect are so important.  How can I ever right truly if I never take time to wonder how it feels?  As the carol 'O Little Town of Bethlehem' expresses, 'The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.' It's probable that no one has every experienced such depths of 'hopes and fears' as Mary, but we are all part of her story.  Taking time to wonder and to walk in her shoes, draw on her hopes, acknowledge her fears and yet be strengthened in her faith will be time that makes me so much richer as a person and so much richer as a writer.  

Like all of us Mary and Joseph had no idea what lay ahead for them, not even that they would soon be moving to Egypt or that their son's birth would precede the most terrible of human acts of genocide. They had to live in the moment, to dare to let God lead and guide them, to forsake control.  And He was there for them just as He is for us.  As He spoke to them, so He speaks to us.  Dare to wonder how it feels for someone else and we ourselves will grow.  Dare to be one who thinks, feel, reflects and grows. Go beyond the bare bones of the story, be there to see, to smell and to listen. 

How does it feel to be me or you?  Dare to wonder and let your horizon expand.

Tracy Williamson. 



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