Written for Christian Flash Weekly #36
Who do you think I am?
That’s what I wanted to say.
But I didn’t.
I didn’t say anything at all.
I simply looked at the ground and turned away.
I touched my stomach hesitantly and tried to blink away the tears threatening to pour down my face.
I knew what everyone was thinking. Where is her husband? Why did she travel up here with an unborn child and no husband?
I bit the inside of my lip and hurried back towards Elizabeth’s house. I didn’t want to stay out here if I didn’t have to, to listen to the whispers behind my back and catch sight of the quick snaps of heads as the other women tried to hide the fact they were staring and pointing.
I could hear the whispers against Zechariah as well. How is it that he loses his ability to speak and a little bit later, this…woman comes to live with them? What sin did he do? Is Elizabeth covering for him? But Zechariah sinning!! He was a priest!
I staggered in the house and Elizabeth greeted me. One look at my face, however, and she knew all that was running through my mind.
“Sit, child.” She pointed beside her.
I lowered myself to the ground and leaned my head back against the wall, closing my eyes.
“What did the angel say to you?” She asked, prohibiting me from taking a quick nap while she talked.
“Do not be afraid, Mary.” I whispered as I recalled the terrifying yet exhilarating experience. “He knew my name, Elizabeth. He said ‘Mary’. And then he said that I had found favor with God. And that I would conceive and have a son and that I was to name him Jesus.”
Elizabeth smiled. “You are fortunate to have such favor to carry His son, Mary!!”
“You think he would have made it a little easier!” I protested. “Everyone thinks I’m a prostitute or…or worse.”
Elizabeth laughed and leaned back beside me. “And Zachariah is mute and I am pregnant as well. What a family.”
“What a family.” I muttered.
“Child,” Elizabeth scooted around so she looked me in the eye. “Have faith. Your Joseph is a good and godly man, God has made sure of that. And God has His eye on you as well. Never forget that. He’s making you stronger now. Stronger so that you can face whatever it is that He has called you to later in your life. Be strong for Him now, Mary, and you will never regret it.”
I smiled. “Thanks Elizabeth.” I whispered as we embraced. “Can I still punch Naomy in the nose next time she accuses me of being unfaithful?”
Elizabeth’s contagious laughter rang throughout the house. “Oh Mary.” she sighed. “You’re like your mother. Did she ever tell you about the time she…”