I've been thinking a lot of Mary lately. I'm sure the snow-clad wreaths and the shimmer of lights from neighboring houses has been somewhat influential. Regardless, I keep wondering about that night in the stable-forget that animals that were or weren't there breathing on the baby and giving him their wool for clothes, forget the sweet-smelling hay, forget all the sentimental things that make us sigh and forget that a woman just gave birth, and possibly alone.
Anyone who's been through labor, or seen labor, has to know it's not pretty. Not in the least. I'm certain Mary's was no different. Though her child was not conceived in the traditional way, it came into this world as any other (or so I think).
What really gets me, though, is that she was miles from home- miles from the women who would have attended her at the birth, who would have supported and encouraged her.
I can't help but think that some woman in the crowded town heard and rushed to her side. Or that Joseph went to find some help. I can't bear to think of her having to do that all alone.
Nor can I imagine being visited by a bunch of strange men with their cute little lambs shortly after giving birth. I suppose it's a good thing God asked Mary do the Mother-of-God job. I would have botched it.