Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed [a]wife, who was with child. 6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered.
Mary and Joseph walk. Joseph laughed in the beginning, saying she can’t waddle her way all the way to Bethlehem.
She couldn’t anyway. Her round belly grew heavier with every step and she found herself asking for rest often.
Now, Mary sits in the dirt beneath a tree casting shade across their path. She calls out encouraging words to the donkey while Joseph hauls satchels from his sides and back.
“Stay still. That’s right. Good boyyyy.” She coos.
Joseph laughs. “Do you think he’ll remember your sweet remarks when it’s you he’s hauling down the road?”
“I hope so.” Is all she says, gripping a fruit between tired fingers, and taking a hearty bite.
They prefer to stay with friends and relatives, but tonight they will camp here. A beautiful sky stretches across the heavens, a blanket of stars that seems to reach right down to the treetops.
Joseph wanted to keep walking, but Mary urged him to rest for the night. He didn’t want her sleeping on the dirt, she supposed, with a thoughtful smile. Stretching her legs out in front of her, she presses her back against the sturdy trunk of the tree.
“Thank you for stopping, Joseph,” she says, so softly, so tired after such a long walk. He comes to her side with a tightly tied pack and pulls a rough blanket over her before sitting down himself.
“We’ll be there tomorrow, Mary. Can you make it?” His tone is teasing, but his eyes, his eyes are unsmiling. Full of worry, her husband.
Mary settles his broad hand onto her belly where it’s met with a bump from within. She laughs.
“We’ll make it, husband,” she says as she settles her head onto his chest and closes her eyes. All she hears is the night sounds of the Jordan, the occasional huff of the donkey, and the steady heartbeat of Joseph–her husband, her travel companion, and her friend.
When Mary wakes, Joseph is staring at her intently, so close, eyes wide.
“What is it?” She asks, sitting up, but she already knows. Where she settled onto dry ground late in the night, the dirt is now colored with wet, and she knows more than feels that the child is coming.
“Can you make it?” Joseph asks. Worry furrows his brows, clouds his eyes.
“We’ll make it.” She says, clasping his hand to stand.
*Read the Christmas classic from the beginning HERE.