A Pain in the Donkey
Advent is a time of watchful waiting, of expectation and the slow-burn to a bright flame of joy. I was wondering this year about doing a daily Facebook post from Mary's point of view. I decided against it because I'm afraid I'll accidentally do something sacrilegious but while I was thinking about it I wondered how she must have felt on that loooooooooong journey.
When I was eight months pregnant I was pretty tired and snarly and I think if anyone (even God) had told me to sit on a donkey and take a long trip through the dust and heat merely to sign a register, I would have had a complete meltdown. Have you ever sat on a donkey? They are not designed for comfort. It's actually like sitting on a clothes drying rack or a chain link fence. She would have needed to go off and find a small bush to discretely hide behind every half an hour too. And - at that stage of pregnancy how do you even get your knees up far enough to get onto a donkey. Not that the animal itself was probably too happy about the situation either, maybe that's where the inspiration for Eeyore came from ... (see - I told you I'd accidentally say something sacrilegious). (Hmm ... I suppose I could just delete that bit... but as you can see, I haven't).
We all know the bigger story but can you imagine what would happen if some young woman from Ladner announced she'd been visited by an angel and was to give birth to the Son of God? I don't know about you but I'd have a little trouble with that. It's not that I don't believe it's possible but it's like life on other planets - I have no problem believing it's out there, but the minute someone says they have met an alien or have some proof of alien existence I assume they are a complete fruitloop.
She must have doubted herself. Surely in the face of all that disbelief and open incredulity she must have felt some uncertainty - she was only human. If not before, then surely the actual mess and pain of childbirth would have made her doubt. If not then - then the first few dirty diapers would DEFINITELY have done it. Jesus in his humanity would surely not have smelt like the Son of God. I guess that's why the shepherds and wise men came - to reassure both her and everyone around her that this was indeed someone special.