She looked to be about 14. Her thick, black hair was pulled back from her face to reveal a pair of dark eyes. She stared off into the distance; her forehead creased as she mulled over recent events.
Although slight, her stomach protruded enough to reveal the beginnings of a pregnancy bump. Her left hand curved protectively around her middle. An air of quiet confidence surrounded the girl.
Her family was not happy, to say the least. The once friendly smiles from her neighbors had turned into contemptuous looks. Strangers in town whispered loudly when their paths crossed. Sometimes it seemed they almost hoped she would hear, as if their words would somehow teach her a lesson she had missed.
At times, it looked as if they wanted to kill her.
In her womb grew a baby. As a young girl she had imagined her husband making the announcement with pride in his eyes. Their families would react with jubilation and in turn there would be a celebration. This was not the reality of her current situation.
Her intended still planned on marrying her, but it had taken him a little while to come around. He stood by her side, and for some reason, this seemed to make her neighbors all the more disgusted. She could explain the situation, but it seemed unlikely they would believe the truth.
Some days even she had to pinch herself to make sure she wasn’t in a dream.
“Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God,” the angel had said to her. “You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.”
She remembered telling the angel she was the Lord’s servant. “May your word to me be fulfilled,” she had said before the angel disappeared. She had meant those words, and still did, but some days she had to close her eyes and remember. Remember the promise. Remember the purpose. Remember the Lord’s will.
And thank God Mary was faithful to her promise.
This Christmas, we once again have the opportunity to celebrate the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ, who was in every way a human. He faced temptations, he laughed and experienced sorrow, and he started his life in his mother’s womb.
Jesus at conception was no less of a human than he was nine months later at his birth. Jesus two months after conception was no less of a human than he was when he spoke with the woman at the well. Jesus kicking in his mother’s womb was no less of a human than he was 33 years later when he died for our sins on a cross.
Life is precious— no matter its size. Life is sacred— no matter its circumstances. Life is worthy to be saved— no matter its ability.