He could actually feel the sweat forming on his brows. His fists were tightly clenched and his lips were so dry. His countenance was melancholic and his eyes were so far away staring, unfocused even at empty space. Deep in thought he seemed and deep in thought he was. A lot was to come, so much was about to unfold. And he was at the center of it all.
Fate had come to pass, destiny was about to be fulfilled and by him, his destiny. For he was destined to bring about change that was so severe that it shook and cut through the very pillars of creation, cutting through the physical to the very intents of the spiritual. It’s been a long time coming, but the awaited moment had finally come.
Joseph was frantic “Oh Mary, why now of all times and here of all places!”
The new life, the light wasn’t scared, at least not exactly. He was just… let’s say, a bit confused, unsure, and maybe alert. Like a lion that suddenly finds itself in another’s pride, like a king in another’s kingdom. This was going to be the first time he was not going to be exactly in control. The first time ever he was going to be prone, vulnerable. The first time he would submit, the first time he would— in fact, everything was going to be a first. He imagined it all. A family: a caring father and a loving mother.
His mother. Such sweetness, if the world had been filled with people like her, this task would be easier. He imagined life with her; he imagined having brothers, sisters and friends. He imagined playing under the hot Middle Eastern sun. He imagined working with the man at his shed, for his would-be father was a carpenter. He was going to learn to work; he was going to learn a lot of things. He was going to know how it felt to be human. He was going to experience it all, the euphoria, the endless vanities that was associated with mankind. The anxieties, the joys and yes, the pains… Pains!
Had he done the right thing by accepting to do this? What was needed was atonement, not necessarily his. Nah, He brushed that thought aside, this had to be perfect, it had to be him, he knew his father very well; for this to be flawless it had to be him. But then that didn’t make it any less daunting. He thought of what it felt like to feel pain, what it felt like to die, what it was going to feel like to die. Death; Lifelessness, Battle, Dominion.
His mind suddenly became flooded with thoughts and all of a sudden dread filled him from nowhere. This wasn’t going to be easy, in fact this was going to be the hardest thing he had ever done. And he wasn’t sure of the outcome. This was the first time he wasn’t going to be sure of anything. He wasn’t forced, he could still change his mind, he could still free himself from this uncertainty, from this chaos. Yes, in fact that was what he was going to do.
“Calm down my love.” Joseph said. “I’m going to get you a place to stay”. The pains were excruciating for Mary. “Joseph, my baby!” She shouted.
He looked down again and saw her. So tender, so loving, she had taken Gabriel’s message so well. She deserved redemption, he thought of his would-be father, hard working and caring, a man who loved his woman so much that he refused to cause her embarrassment despite his being shamed. He too needed to be saved. He thought of those twelve lads he was going to meet. Such promise, such potentials that would lie dormant unless he went. He thought of all the blind men, the lame, the deaf and the infirmed that would need his help; He thought of the countries, he thought of the cities, such waste it would be if he just decided to quit. He couldn’t let the devil have his way, death had to be stopped and for that to happen, sin had to be dealt with. His speeding barrage of thoughts finally slowed down, dissolved and settled at one thing. He thought of you. He imagined you coming into the world, filled with hope, only there would not be hope for he never died. For he was hope. The very salvation that mankind sought. The very cure to the insanity that was gradually engulfing all. He couldn’t let that happen to you. The more he thought of you, the more his resolve strengthened. He couldn’t bear the thought of your not being free. He had to not only free you, but empower you. He had to.
“Deep in thought I see”. He looked up and saw his father staring back at him, He started to say something but he was cut short. “Don’t bother I know what’s bugging you. He sat down next to him and in silence and all omniscience, they both stared down at the world. “He’s a good woman, the very best there is”
“Yes, father, I’ve been watching her since, and Joseph too.”
Mary was screaming so loudly now that Joseph really considered making a run for it.
“Yes sir, we’ll take the animal shed, just tell us where it is.” Joseph said.
The innkeeper was shocked. “Err, are you sure? It’s quite very messy.”
“JUST SHOW US WHERE IT IS!” Mary screamed.
He couldn’t help but laugh and his father laughed with him. It was followed by a brief awkward silence.
“You know you really don’t have to do this”, his Dad said.
“I’ve made up my mind Dad.”
“Once you get out there, there is no turning back.”
“Of course you realize the importance of what you are about to do, you realize the reason why it has to be done, everything has to be perfect. And of course you understand–“
“Dad… You always get like this when it comes to these folks; you love them so much that at times I wonder if you have any feelings for me at all.”
His father was shocked, it was only when he looked at his son and saw the smirk on his face that he realized it was a joke, the two burst out laughing. After that came another awkward silence.
Mary was screaming and pushing. Joseph was scared to death. he should have brought a midwife along as they journeyed to the capital. Why hadn’t he anticipated this?
“This will be the beginning of a very great thing my son, if only you know how many promises of mine would be fulfilled today, the prophets will be relieved I’m sure. Do you know what the people are going to call this day in the fut–”
“Christmas.” He answered.
“Oh Mary dear, are you sure you don’t need me—“
“DON’T YOU DARE COME IN HERE JOSEPH!”
They would have laughed again if not for the fact that the time was almost near.
“Emmanuel right,” his voice held a hint of sadness “I must admit the name’s rather catchy”
“Yes, and from this day henceforth I would never leave my people, I will be with them always”
They stood up abruptly. “Well son, I think it’s time. To say I would miss you would be an understatement but truth is—“
The father couldn’t finish for the son gave him a very passionate hug that brought out all the feelings he had been trying to suppress. They held each other for sometime before they broke away.
“You go now son, you go and save the world”
“Yes father, as you wish, your will always”. And he turned and walked away. Mary’s voice was now louder than ever. This wasn’t the beginning of the end, this was the start of the beginning.
Before Jesus walked into the first Christmas, he turned back to take one look at his father. He was still standing where he left him seemingly deep in thought. The father smiled at him and said,
“For mankind son.”
He smiled back and replied, “For mankind.”
Written by Andre Nwagbo
Follow @YSAndre64 on Twitter
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