Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright
Round yon virgin Mother and Child
Tonight I’m thinking about Mary. I’m thinking about her journey on her donkey (or more likely walking since the donkey comes from tradition rather than scripture) from Nazareth to Bethlehem. I’m thinking about how many miles she covered, full term, presumably in early labor. I’m thinking about her arriving nearly alone in an unfamiliar place, surrounded by people she didn’t know, about to give birth. Actually, not unlike what most women experience today birthing in a hospital I suppose.
I wonder as I wander out under the sky
How Jesus, the savior, had come for to die
For poor on'ry people, like you and like I.
I wonder as I wander out under the sky.
~John Jacob Niles
I wonder if Joseph was there at all as Jewish custom would not have permitted him to be involved with the birth. Maybe there was a group of women from Bethlehem that assisted. I hope so. Were they loving and kind to a young, unmarried, laboring stranger in their midst? I wonder if she missed her mom. Or sisters, if she had them. I wonder if she was scared. I wonder if she knew her time was near before they found somewhere to stay. I wonder if a woman about to give birth was part of why a stable was their only option.
Mary, did you know
That your baby boy will one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know
That your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know
That your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you've delivered
Will soon deliver you
~Buddy Greene & Mark Lowry
She knew this baby would be special - that he wasn’t ordinary. But he was still her child. I know that despite her surroundings, the moment that baby was in her arms (maybe she even caught him herself) were moments she’d never forget. Her heart was full of joy and her eyes full of tears - just like every other mother before her and since then.
May the Peace of Jesus be with you this holiday season.
Adina Nelson, CD(DONA)
I am a birth & postpartum doula and chlidbirth educator practicing in North Idaho.
She was there every step of the way for me and my husband...I thank Adina for everything she helped us with. She truly is a special person and we will be forever grateful for her! ~Erin