“Mary? Can I talk to you a moment?”
Joseph looked down at his wife as she cradled her son. She looked outside at the setting sun, the crisp smell of evening air had filled their home. “It’s getting late, let me get him to bed first.” She began to rise from her sitting position, but Joseph sat beside her and gripped her arm gently.
“No Mary, I think we need to talk now.” Mary looked startled at Joseph’s worried expression. “What’s wrong?”
Joseph gingerly took one of the baby’s small hands, and sighed as it gripped his finger. “Mary, I had a dream last night. A dream in which an angel came and talked to me.”
Mary half-smiled, “You mean like the dream you had that told you I was telling the truth and you should marry me?” Joseph cupped the baby’s smooth hand in his rough calloused one, not allowing himself to smile. “Mary, I think Jesus is in danger.”
Her smile faded. She held her son more tightly. “An angel told you that?” Joseph nodded. “It said that you, Jesus, and I are to escape to Egypt and stay there until we hear from the angel again because Herod is going to try and kill him.”
It all had tumbled out at once; Joseph had been debating all day how to tell his wife. But the stunned silence she had now was worse than a blatant argument.
She stared at him with wide eyes, she held Jesus so closely that he wriggled as if wanting to get down. “Joseph…” she began, “escape to Egypt?”
“Yes, the angel wasn’t wrong last time, and I believe it’s right this time, too.”
“But Joseph, Egypt?” Her eyes were still fearful, “That’s a world away! It’s a different language, different culture, different gods…it’s not where I want to raise Jesus!”
Joseph let go of Jesus’ hand and placed his worn hands on Mary’s shoulders. “Neither do I, but it’s not permanent. The angel will let us know when it’s safe to come back.”
Mary looked down to blink away stinging tears and began brushing back the soft hair on her son’s head. “How will we even pay for it? I don’t think we can save up enough for a trip like that.”
Joseph smiled gently and pointed to a crude wooden shelf behind her where three ornate boxes were displayed. “I think the Magi’s gifts we got yesterday are the provision we need.”
Mary paused and nodded slowly, but tears stilled welled in her eyes until they spilled onto her cheeks. She lowered her head so her chin rested on top of Jesus’s head and began to cry.
“Joseph, I don’t know how I’m going to relocate again. It’s so hard for me to find friends. As soon as they find out what year we got married, and then find out Jesus’ age, they do the math themselves. After that, they won’t even give me the time of day. I don’t know if I can leave what little comfort we’ve made for ourselves here.”
Joseph finally released Mary’s shoulders and enveloped her in his arms, along with the baby. “Mary, I know the past few years has been extremely difficult for us, especially for you. But God is doing something incredible here, and He is going to be with us if we’re here or in Egypt.” Mary pulled back and looked at her husband with streaming eyes. He reached up and whisked away one of her tears.
“He’s going to take care of us. I think we just need to trust Him.”
Mary nodded, wiped her eyes, and then stood with the baby in her arms. “Then let’s leave tonight.”
Copyright 2015 Molly Farnsley. Use by Permission Only.