Mary, Did You Know?11:21 AM
She was so full of joy, even at a young age. She was a beautiful soul. And from the day of her betrothal, her whole life lit up in a brand new way. She spent an evening in her room, treasuring all these things; and I told her father I thought her a little odd for a young woman.
"That is Mary," he said. "She always makes sure that news reaches her heart before her mouth."
And with every tear that was shed, a laugh escaped her. She talked little of Joseph and her marriage, though the smile and the blush of every mention of those two words made her glow.
"Aren't you happy, Mary?"
She looked me, smiling. Her eyes flashed. "Joyful." And she laughed.
But eventually the girls came into our home, sitting in twosomes and trios and giggling about the upcoming wedding and the many babies that would be sure to follow.
"Oh, Mary, you're so lucky!"
"Oh, silly, I am just as blessed as any other girl with a dream."
She was blessed. I was blessed. Over all her childhood she had been good as gold - with the normal exceptions, of course. But her temperament made her sweet and the times when she did rub up against us the wrong way, she was so sensitive to her sin. She said to me once, after a long day in which she never smiled or said anything, she said, "I wish there was a lamb just for me, to take away this dirty feeling forever. I can't - I can't know Him like this."
I loved her, but perhaps not as much as I should have. Her father loved her younger sister more - she was happier and louder and more willing to get up and get dirty. Mary was content to be by herself. I would try to reach her - "What do you do all by yourself, Mary?"
"Oh, I've been thinking about what was read last Sabbath."
"Oh, I was just wondering why I am loved so much."
And lately, "Oh, I've just been thinking about how perfect Joseph is for me. He hardly ever smiles but he never looks sad." She looked at me. "I love him so much, sometimes, that it hurts."
"Wait a little while longer," I said with a smile, "and you will be married."
I thought I understood her. I thought - with all her history of obedience and goodness, with her heart full of love for Joseph and for God - but she turned back. She turned back upon all of it. And she sat with her father and me in the corner, arms clinging to her legs, swallowing the hurt and the shame deeper with every inflection of her father's voice. I watched her small stomach heave and thought of the child growing inside. Why was she granted a child, while my child was taken from me? I did not know this daughter, this girl, this sinner.
We were devastated.