Mary is for real.

(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 

strained faces

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.


Heads shook.

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 

and stood 

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, 

he was 

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

hurried after

their grief fading

and his growing,

hearing the views of 

the elders. 

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margins are a great place sometimes because it is where change happens fastest but it is also a horrible place when we are stuck in them and grace is the moment when we can see that someone cares.

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