She writhed in pain just like every other mother who had ever given birth. Despite the chilly air, sweat formed on her brow. And how she screamed. Enough to rend her young husband’s heart in two.
The animals added to the general chaos. Their cries rose and fell with Mary’s. Word had gotten out at the inn that the pregnant girl the innkeeper had had to turn away was in labor out in the stable, and a flurry of somewhat helpful women flitted about spouting all their birthing wisdom.
Mary kept screaming.
Finally a baby’s cry took the place of his mother’s.
Then the shepherds showed up with all their bleating sheep. Something about angels and a savior and a sign. Mary wished they’d go away. It had been a long night. It had been a long nine months.
How the rumors would only continue to fly. If she had to choose between the sound of her name upon so many lips or the incessant bleating of sheep, she’d choose the sheep. Yet any respite would be welcome. None seemed likely.
She did with this moment what she had done with a hundred other moments since that first fateful visitation from heaven. She tucked it away in a place she could return to often to mull it all over.
Perhaps someday all these moments would make sense.
Until then, she’d wait amid the noise. And staring into the face of her little boy, she’d hope.