prepare the way for the people;
build up, build up the highway;
clear it of stones;
lift up a signal over the peoples.
Behold, the Lord has proclaimed
to the end of the earth:
Say to the daughter of Zion,
“Behold, your salvation comes;
behold, his reward is with him,
and his recompense before him.”
And they shall be called The Holy People,
The Redeemed of the Lord;
and you shall be called Sought Out,
A City Not Forsaken.
From Joseph's Diary
We have our child with us, just now a week old. He grows so quickly and yet he is a fragile newborn babe. Mary's health seems good, the wise women check on her twice a day at least. We are a curiosity and a diversion for them, I would guess. Our sweet son seems to delight them all and they remark on how good and cooperative he is. He really doesn't fuss much, but when he does cry, it wounds me to my core. I guess that is the price of being a parent. Mary spends hours watching him, sometimes just watching him sleep. Yesterday we took a walk around the city while he slept, the women wanting Mary to walk so she would be strong again. It was a remarkable walk, taking in the city with the eyes of parents, no longer two people but those responsible for a child, and this special child to top it all off. Nobody can know how special he is right now, so that we can keep him safe.
The time walking and talking restored some of my courage and hope. The sunlight was strong and warm, despite this winter chill, and we imagined ourselves back at home, planning all the things we will do with our boy. The strong sun reached into our hearts and reminded us of all of the promises God has made. It is a new season, a new year and a new life for us. We have faced some terrible challenges and yet, here we are, moving in the bright city, making plans for a glorious future. I pray God will continue to encourage and strengthen us. I need more days when the world is open with promise. So I have written a prayer for our new adventures to come.
Dear God, you did not hold back but gave us love made flesh. Help us to nurture and empower this child, and the love in each of us. May we be fearless in the face of rough roads, knowing you are with us. You have given us this child as the living reality of your love given to us all. May we take every day as a gift, trusting that we do not walk alone but are shrouded in the warmth and strength of your love. Amen.