In the spirit of Advent, this piece was inspired by my pondering Mary giving birth through the eyes and testimony of her widwife…
It has been more than 20 years, but I will never forget that night.
How could we turn them away? How could we not help?
They had been on such a long journey…
by foot, by donkey, in the sun and heat, sweating, scared, confused, flabbergasted…
and all while 9 months pregnant!!!!
We did not have much room–my beloved and I did find some space with the animals;
it was not the ideal space for a young couple to give birth but they were grateful to have a place that was warm and dry—
they even said the animals were welcome companions after such a long, lonely journey.
Her husband found me—unsure of what to do but determined to help his young wife.
She was only 15 years old, but reflected a bold sense of hope and faith.
She asked a lot of questions…
Will it hurt…how long will it take…how do I…when do I…???
Are parents ever prepared, I wonder.
I was present when she gave birth to her first child,
I was the first to hold him…the one to lay him in his mother’s arms…
watching how only a babies eyes, cry, and peaceful sleep can melt away
the exhaustion, fear, uncertainties, and hardship of a long journey and of the unknown journey yet to come.
Who knows what challenges await them!?!?
I made sure that our religious laws and customs were followed as best I could
given that it was the middle of the night and we were in a cave filled with animals.
I was Miriam of Nazareth’s midwife.
I served YHWH by serving a poor, frightened Jewish family.
What path would this child take? Only G-d knows.
With this little one came esperanza and possibilities.
My life and testimony, overlooked by history, was lived in the service of others—
being present at the births of children…present at the birth of fe, nueva vida, and familia.
Being included in scrolls and stories and documents did not stop me from doing what was right—will it stop you?