The Mother: A Story Retold

Mother and Child

Mother and Child (Photo credit: Forever Wiser)

Merry Christmas, everyone! Hope you enjoy this humble story (more of a poem, almost) inspired by Christmas Eve meditations on what it meant for God to come alongside us, to be truly one of us.


The waves of pain kept bringing her back to the inescapable moment. She could no longer think about the strangeness of it all, the small dirty alien place where she was giving birth. Only intermittently was she aware of more than her own body, her own breathing: the smells and sounds of the animals, the pressure of her husband’s hand, the circle of light from a single lamp, the dark closing in all around them.

Those months ago, she’d quivered in the angel’s shadow, hesitated before saying yes, knowing once she did there was no turning back. If there ever was a choice, there was none now: her whole body strove for Yes, the moment of birth, first breath, first cry.

It was not her Yes alone. It was Yes to everyone she knew and all their ancestors, her entire people who had waited so long. It was Yes to all the promises she grew up hearing, as much a part of her as blood. It was Yes to the unknown future, the as-yet unimagined, a family more numerous than the stars. She felt full of meaning and empty as a clay jar. She felt like nobody and everybody.

She groaned and knew the universe groaned along with her, embracing salvation’s crowning moment with both pain and joy. Somewhere above her in the sky, she felt the birth of her son’s twin: in the cold void, a bright star blazing.

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