Sunday, 29 November 2015

Granny

pause in adventI'm joining in with Pause for Advent at Tracing Rainbows and this year for Advent I want to look through the eyes of four different people.  We don’t actually know what any of them were doing for much of the time and we don’t really even know the name of today's person but we know that she must have existed for she is Mary’s mother, Jesus’s granny.  The Bible doesn’t mention her or her husband but there is an apocryphal gospel which says they were called Joachim and Ann so Ann seems as good a name as any and that’s the name I’m going to use during Advent.  Today it’s Ann’s thoughts from some time a few months before Jesus was born. 
  
Mary, my Mary, how could you?  I always thought that of all my children you were the least likely to bring disgrace on the family.  And now you have done the worst thing you could.  I can’t believe it of you.

And you have lied to me.  You who were always close to me and we always shared secrets.  I thought you would tell me everything.  I didn’t know that there was a man in your life apart from Joseph, and even now you won’t tell me his name.  You just give me some silly story about an angel.  Angels don’t appear to ordinary people like us and angels certainly don't put girls in the family way!  Did some man deceive you with a holy story?  Was that it? 

My first thought was that it was Joseph but he says it wasn’t.  Oh Mary, how much you have hurt him!  He’s a good man, he’d have been a good husband, but you can’t expect him to take on soiled goods and another man’s child.

Did we protect you too much?  I can’t think we did for you were always with the other girls of your age but their mothers won’t want them to be near you now.  I daren’t think what will happen to you.  There are plenty of men who will think you fair game and we can’t protect you for ever.

Your father is really upset and I can hardly get him to talk about it at all but Joseph came to see him yesterday.  Joe is such a good man, he’s trying to understand why you would betray him like this and he still loves you, despite everything.  He’s not going to expose you to public disgrace and make a fuss about breaking off the engagement but he’ll let it quietly drop.  That’s really kind of him and better than we could have hoped for.  But Mary, why won’t you tell us the truth about who it was?  The father should take responsibility.

I’ve been thinking.  You remember Elizabeth?  Well she’s expecting a baby too.  She’s only got a few weeks to go and I think she could probably do with a bit of help. You could go to her. No-one there will know you and you needn’t tell them you are an unmarried mother.  Elizabeth is a good woman and she’ll talk Zechariah round to letting you stay – he’s so excited that he’s going to be a dad after all these years she can twist him around her little finger!

Oh Mary, I’d always thought that becoming a granny would be so exciting and such a happy time, not like this.  I can’t forgive whoever did this to you.  He should be here with you.  It’s the father’s responsibility.


11 comments:

  1. That was such an amazing piece that you have written - and do you know, I have never, ever, even thought about Mary's parents before...

    My middle name is Mary and although I'd like to think there was some religious reason for it, I think it really relates to Mary, Queen of Scots.

    I look forward to what you will write next during Advent X

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  2. That was a definite food for thought moment, I have actually never considered Mary's parents before either.

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  3. It's recently begun to occur to me that for the people immediately concerned the birth of Jesus was not (at the time) good news. I remember even fifty years ago when I was a girl, to be an unmarried mother was disgraceful. My godmother's daughter was pregnant before she was married (do you remember the phrase "She had to get married"?) and she dare not tell her mother. My own mother told me that if ever I were pregnant I was to tell my parents and they would look after me - but that needed to be said and it was courageous of my mother to say it. Two thousand years ago in that society I can't begin to imagine how "Ann" felt.

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    1. Oh yes! As an unmarried mother in 1931 my mother was just a few years older than 21. Under 21 and she would have been put in a mental asylum for having loose morals

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    2. Yes, back in my teenage years -- the "swinging sixties" -- getting pregnant outside marriage was taboo. That didn't mean it didn't happen but the reaction, at least publicly, was not positive. We even had a girl, in my senior year in high school, get MARRIED -- not pregnant -- just married, and she was treated like an outcast and virtually not allowed to socialize with any of us innocents. It was like she was being punished for getting married. I thought that was ridiculous.

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  4. This is lovely - as an 'imminent grandmother' [my daughter's baby due in Feb] I read it with fresh understanding. Thanks for joining P in A

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  5. Wow! Such powerful thoughts.

    "It's the Father's responsibility" - we are indeed all His responsibility, but we also bear responsibility for what we do for Him.

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  6. That is probably spot on. Such an incredibly interesting take on an aspect of the story that we hardly, if ever think about.

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  7. Amazing thinking about it from the angle of those around who wouldn't necessarily have believed in Mary! I've got the Apocrypha, which book is it in?x

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    1. Sorry, it didn't even make "the" Apoocrypha"! It's very obscure and it's in the Protevangelium of James which wasn't written until well into the second century. I just wanted to have a name for the character as I went through my Advent meditations. All the above is just from my own head and certainly isn't even based on even the most tenuous scripture! I have just been trying to get back to that first "Advent". It can't have been much fun for those directly concerned.

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