Advent from Mary’s Point of View

A re-post of a poem I wrote a few years ago.

Midwinter is a time of darkness, a time when the light lessens and disappears, a time when we mix hope and fear. The worldly powers shape most, but not every detail of our lives. We can, as this Christian story suggests, as Mary might have experienced it, face our lives with faith, with belief that out of our struggles, meaning will emerge.

This was to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I have called my son.”Matthew 2:15

by  Joan Vinall-Cox

It was a dark time –
Mary had wanted to be glad
Joseph had chosen her
but that strange dream …

and old Elizabeth, swollen  with  child,
calling her blessed, saying a
Child was growing in her
too, yet she’d never…
except in that strange dream;

and she had swollen
and Joseph,
angry and sad and puzzled,
had planned to hide
her disgrace, but he dreamed
and married her but slept
and would not look at her.

It was a dark time.


It was a dark time –
the rulers had decided
to count them all where
their ancestors had lived
so Joseph and Mary must walk

for days, weeks, and her so
large and tired, and both so
puzzled and hopeful and fearful.
Could the Holy One really have  chosen

Still they must walk,
as the rulers
demanded, in the cold,
in the darkening time, they must
walk into Bethlehem, this ancient
town, filled with others obeying
the rulers who wanted to count  them and did not care
about walking, or a room for a
young woman with her time
pressing on her,
with the Holy One’s Gift demanding
His time on earth,
and no room for this family

It was a dark time.

There was light at His birth –
light in Mary’s eyes and
light in Joseph’s smile and
light flowing out, pulsing out
around the wondrous Child

light that brought the amazed
and star light that
brought the Wise Ones from
afar to worship

and light that the eyes in
the dark could see, whispering to
a man with too much power
that he was nothing
beside such Light,

and the Holy One sent another
dream to guard the Light, to
hide it in a foreign land

and Mary and Joseph fled
into Egypt, carrying the Light
away from the darkness of
Herod’s massacre of babies.

It was a dark time.

It was a dark time –
waiting in a foreign land,
watching Him grow, and learning
patience and trust, waiting

for a new dream, yearning for

and then

out of the dark time,
the dream came.

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