Some Fridays, I get to join them. When I do, I get the sense that the thoughts in my head, no matter how rough and uncut, are worth sharing. I relish the chance to speak life into another woman’s blog, and tell her that her thoughts are valuable too.
This week, the word is Welcome. I want to welcome you to join in too! If you’d like to see what the party is all about, head on over to Kate’s place by clicking this link.
There she is at an open doorway, face hot with sweat and road dust. She stands uncertain, with one hand on her stomach like pregnant women have a habit of doing.
I had always pictured Mary bounding eagerly down that last mile to Elizabeth’s house, bubbling with anticipation. But what if she had been clammy with nerves? Elizabeth lived nearly 100 miles away from Nazareth, and it might have been years since the last visit. What if her stomach had churned and heart had thumped as she willed herself to walk the last two feet through the older women’s door?
After all, she was probably an embarrassment to her mother now. Her cousins back in Nazareth might have whispered and looked at her sideways as she passed on the street.
I am the Lord’s handmaiden.
Did she second-guess her surrender now that no one understood?
Suddenly Elizabeth was laughing and crying and embracing her–sweat and all–against her own swollen belly. Her face glowed with welcome and the secret that Mary hadn’t told, but that she somehow already knew.
“Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!”
The older woman was stopped by a thought, but it was one of humble wonder, not judgment. “But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” Laughing, she clasped Mary’s hands and pressed them against her own pregnant bulge. “As soon as I heard your greeting, the baby in my womb leapt for joy!” They were both laughing now. “Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”
The words pouring out of Elizabeth’s mouth were like sweet milk, flowing over Mary’s fears and the bruises of rejection. The welcome in her embrace was healing and Mary felt herself bubbling over in praise. Suddenly it came out in tumbling, ecstatic poetry.
To read how other writers interpreted the word “welcome”, click here!