Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.”
Joseph sighs as his wife passes by his work bench again, this being the tenth or twelfth time she’s paced from wall to wall, feet sliding across the wood floor.
“And he said that Herod was a danger to them?” She asked again–for the third time.
“That’s what the dream told him, yes.” Joseph says calmly.
“Yes. He told me that morning, the day they left.”
“That he’s a danger to them.”
Fourth time, Joseph thinks, but says, “Yes.”
“But, what about us?”
“I don’t know, Mary. He didn’t mention us–only that they had a divine warning and would bypass Herod altogether.”
Mary stops pacing and heaves her body onto a stool next to her Joseph’s work table.
“It must be serious,” she says, picking up a measure of wood.
He clicks his tongue at her and she puts the wood back. “I think it’s very serious. We will pray about it, Mary.”
“Can we now?”
Her husband laughs, but comes around the work bench and kneels beside her in the sawdust and dirt. He takes his wife’s hands in his own. Hers so small.
“Almighty God,” he prays, “You’ve entrusted us with something priceless–someone priceless–and we will always need your help to protect Him.” Joseph squeezes Mary’s hand and continues, “If Herod is a threat to our son, or to your work here on earth through Him, please help us.”
He clears his throat and brushes a kiss against Mary’s cheek.
She rises from the stool and crosses through their small yard to the house. Jesus babbles up at her from where he plays in the floor. In his chubby hand, he waves a wooden block, knocking over a tower of them, letters and animals carved into their sides. Mary kneels beside Jesus and begins putting the blocks in a nearby basket. Along the wall there are other baskets, toys, linens, and clothes for the little family. On the walls there are little decorations Joseph has made over the last few months. She loves to hold Jesus up high so that he can touch the carved hangings and decorations, things his father made.
Mary’s attention returns to Jesus to find Him lying in the floor, tired from a hard day of play and learning. She scoops Him up and takes Him to the little bed situated in the floor at the foot of their own. Lying with him there, under woolen blankets, she drifts off to sleep as quickly as He.
Mary dreams of their happy home, their future there with Jesus growing between them, and what type of man He’ll become.
She’s only roused from sleep by Joseph when the room is pooled in dark shadows. No moon in sight.
“Mary,” he whispers, voice urgent. “Mary, we have to leave here. Now. Get your things. I’ll explain on the way.”