I dumped way too many pages on all you busy people last time, but I hope this will be more manageable. The pages are crowded together, not like they’d be in the book to make it more compact. Enjoy!
Yosef has not warmly greeted me for many days. I might as well say
it like it really is; we haven’t even exchanged more than two words. He
is polite, but I have seen him treat strangers with more cordiality than
he has bestowed on me! I feel ill with despair.
Somehow, something, must have leaked out at home, because my younger
sisters don’t treat me so sweetly any more. Dorcas and Naomi give me
troubled looks as if they cannot quite understand what has changed
with me. They are not as spontaneous with their hugs as in former days,
or am I just imagining it?
Hanalei and I used to be as close as burrs in sheep’s wool but now she is somewhat reserved in my presence.
Imma had thought she was old enough to share in our secret, but from the way she is acting we wonder. Perhaps Hana is concerned about how her friends will react when they find out her older sister is expecting a riba, (child), before the wedding.
Maybe she is afraid this will lessen her own chances of finding a nice, respectable husband. She had been telling me how much she admires Caleb bar-Reuven, for some time now.
Dear old Abba has been quiet and unsmiling since our discussion.
I wonder so often what he is really thinking. I wish he would not
council with Yaakov so much since Yosef’s father is so perturbed with me.
Now that Father is so distant, Imma waits until he is out of the
house to show her loving sympathy. It is then that the tears, the soothing
healing tears, flow freely, and we can talk.
Naturally Imma does not feel ill as I do, so she is still quite optimistic
about it all. I know she does not consider my story a fantasy like Abba,
Yosef and his family appear to.
What would I do without my mother to lean on; to comfort me? Imma is touched that a daughter of hers would be considered worthy to be the mother of the son of Adonai , our Almighty God, but is deeply concerned that Yosef is considering getting divorce papers written out.
Isn’t it strange that two such conflicting emotions can dwell in the same heart?
Being thrilled yet at the same time deeply concerned seem so opposite from each other.
Imma feels for me, and I am glad she is praying that things will work out somehow.
We have whispered together about how dreadful it would be to be identified as an unwed mother. I do not believe Yosef would ever have me stoned, but would
not the stony disapproval of our community be almost harder to bear?
I know that every day I am growing a little rounder, and someday the
sacred secret will be revealed. But unfortunately, or is it fortunately, I
will be far away by then, for Abba insists that I must go, and for who knows how long?
We have arrived at Zechariah’s home. The trip was long and
tiresome, but not as dreadful as I feared.
Zechariah’s stone house is situated in a serenely beautiful valley.
It is a spacious dwelling with many archways and pillars.
It even has marble floors. That is such a contrast to our own dirt floor! Oh, well, I love our little home just as much, if not more, because that’s where my family dwells.
I was so enthralled with the cooling fountain in their courtyard, though, as
well as all the exotic flowers and plants surrounding it. It was such a
refreshing change after trudging through the wilderness for so long.
It is very strange to have a room all to myself, and such a soft, high
bed! Yet I will miss having my sisters snuggling down close beside me.
What a blessing it was to be enfolded in Elisheva’s warm embrace!
She seemed so happy to see me. It was like an unexpectedly warm and
balmy breeze in frigid weather.
We had such a meaningful visit right after I arrived that I did not even remember how exhausted I had been feeling ’til a long time later.
To my amazement she knew immediately that I was carrying Yahweh’s son. The baby leaped within her, and then do you know what?—Elisheva started to prophecy like the patriarchs of old! I have never heard anyone do that before!
It thrilled me right to my toes when she said, nay, almost shouted
“Mary’am, you are very blessed among women! The baby you are
carrying is very blessed indeed! How can I be so fortunate that the
mother of our Lord would come, and visit me? As soon as you called
out, the babe knew who you were, and leaped within me!”
What a shiver of awe ran down my back!
She told me I would be blessed for believing. Can you imagine the comfort that was after the despondent atmosphere at home? She also reminded me that all that
the angel told me would come true.
Perhaps if Abba could have heard her faith, and enthusiastic response to my pregnancy, he would have believed, also.
It filled me with such a deep joy to know that Jehovah has regarded
the low estate of me, His quiet, unassuming talitha, that I clasped my
hands in wonder, and magnified His Holy Name.
Future generations will call me Banoah, (blessed), and indeed they are surely right. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of aant’at would gladly trade places with me.
The Mighty One has done marvelous things; holy is His name!
Somehow I sense that when He reigns, He will not only show mercy to those our generation that fear him, but will extend mercy for generations come! I cannot comprehend it! It is so amazing!
Under His guidance, I just know that wrongs will be righted, those that we call powerful will be of no more value than the poor in spirit; the hungry will be satisfied, but the rich will go away empty.
How can I know these things? I simply don’t know. It does seem like a spirit of prophecy descended upon me also, and I am eagerly waiting to see what it means.
As you may well know, my despondency has been lifted up, carried away on wings of joy!
I just know these are going to be pleasant, meaningful months
helping Elisheva. I am really looking forward to it! Surely we will have many inspirational visits. I really need them to help me to grow into the role Adonai, ordained for me.