She was not completely alone; she had her husband with her, and those animals that shuffled and sighed heavily in the  night. Even so, Mary felt alone and isolated.

This awesome event that should be attended by the women in her family, bustling noisily with the activities that only women understood, was starkly different for her. She wished that her mum was with her. Somehow she felt that having the person who brought her into the world with her would make everything she was going through seem a little less alien, a little more familiar.

Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and His name shall be called Emmanuel, which means ‘God with us’. Matt.1:23

Yet here she was, alone except for the man who had made the life changing choice to believe her story. He was the one who laboured with her; his own form of labour that strove to work with her in a task which was unknown to both of them. The familiar farm yard smells were foreign in this endeavour, yet they laboured on together and the strangeness of their environment faded into the background as the work at hand intensified.

And then, there He was, all bright and red and beautiful. His hands, His feet – all there; all was as it should be. She’d known it would be this way, but sometimes she had wondered what she could expect when this Baby, this God dwelling with mankind, finally arrived. And now she sat, quietly suckling the infant, while the man that God had chosen to help her moved around the stable bringing order and peace.

Softly, gently, with a sense of awesome wonder that those who love Him still experience… she reached out her hand and touched the face of God.