(Luke chapter 2: 41-50)
‘What was that?’ Mary asked
sharply. ‘You thought he would
be with the little ones and the women?
when now he is a man
to be numbered amongst men!’
Tears on her lashes, Mary’s anger
spilled over to the one who
had given her this precious
child, a boy who was now
wretched and wilful.
‘Help us find him,’ she whispered.
Joseph and Mary
trod the long agonising
road to the golden glowing dome.
Each time they searched the bleak barrenness
around them, and dark filled
hollows, expecting to find his
Time and time again they thought, there
he is, only to find
some camp left filth, frantically
Joseph searched through
while the rotting food stuffs
filled his nostrils with
As the red orb of the sun dropped
below the barren hills,
two bedraggled figures walked through
the city gate. Hopelessly they
turned to each other and in their distress
mutely blaming the other.
They sheltered for the night behind
the sturdy stone in a safe refuge.
Curling on the floor of a
friend’s house they
sleepless, prayed ceaselessly for him to be Just Found.
At first light as it crept through
the windows revealing
their exhaustion, shadowing their
they shook off
grief and grogginess
and hungry for their son
searched the city,
Slowly they moved, asking gesturing and begging for someone anyone to remember.
a tousled head
in a Galilean robe.
No one was sure
as they pondered and remembered
dozens of ruffled haired runaways.
Mary kicked a lose stone,
while tears flowed freely
and the guilt ground into her .
The shock shook her as she felt again
The shame of her pregnancy.
The joy of his birth
The angels and shepherds words
And watching him grow, and a voice
Screamed in her, how could it happen
So quickly. No one can comfort me, for
I have lost the son of God.
Gabriel you chose the wrong woman.
Joseph leaned towards her,
his eyes red rimmed and caring,
We are in this, we two together.
‘We will find him. Trust God and
the angels to care for their own.
They went into the temple to pray
To the God who overshadowed her
And brought Jesus to be in her womb.
Mary recalled Anna and Simeon.
What would they say to her now?
She bowed her head and
felt the stinging sorrow and
shame that speared her soul.
Joseph to the privileged place of men,
while she only a woman
waited and asked, ‘Have you see my son?’
She bowed to pray, hugging pain,
and a touching hand light on her shoulder
pointed to Joseph trying for attention.
She rose swiftly and slipped away looking
intently at his smile.
A smile –she struggled to return.
Joseph turned and she followed
outside looking in and
saw Jesus, sitting there waving his hands
as he talked to the select of the synagogue;
intent, interested and immersed.
Unsmiling now, Joseph, was by his side and
bowing to the men brought the joyful Jesus
through the throng to his
angry, anxious mother who
checking him for harm and spoke sharply,
asked the child of God ‘Why have you treated us like this? How could you frighten us so?
Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.
We were so worried?’
Surprised he spoke
the unanswerable line.
‘Didn’t you know I had to be
in my Father’s house?
Joseph lurched, It had come,
no longer father.
And threatening tears stung his eyes as
they walked on towards the city gate
Jesus eating the food they had brought.
Joseph stayed Mary and
spoke from his pain,
‘He is a man.
He knows who he is.’
And together they
their grief fading
and his growing,
hearing the views of