“The birth of Jesus took place like this. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. Before they came to the marriage bed, Joseph discovered she was pregnant. (It was by the Holy Spirit, but he didn’t know that.) Joseph chagrined but noble, determined to take care of things quietly so Mary would not be disgraced. While he was trying to figure a way out, he had a dream.” Matthew 1:18-20
His heart said yes. His feet shouted no. Indecision blew through his mind like multi-colored leaves dancing in an autumn wind. Here was the newest family on the block. Strangers to all until tomorrow! A scandal waiting to happen in the night! Fourteen generations had passed from Abraham to King David. Fourteen generations had crossed the ancestral bridge until the Babylonian exile. Fourteen generations had reached over from Babylon until the day Christ was born. And from those numerous lines cut from a single genetic tapestry came Joseph and his fourteen-year old bride-to-be Mary.
Now in the silence and sanctity of time Joseph waited to see how his soul would respond. For despite all his fears he had surrendered to love. It had taken him years to get to this place where the heart and inner eye were opened . . . Where a man surrenders his personal strength in favor of a higher power . . . Where a man renounces his individuality for intimacy . . . Where a man understands that God heals the world two by two. Joseph had dropped his armor for harmony. Love had freed him and healed him from the tear in his holy fabric. But now the same cords that bound them together became discords (ropes) that fettered his heart and retracted the silent hooks he had placed in her. Joseph’s heart was crushed by the weight of its own anticipation. He felt as if a piece of him was being ripped away. He felt as if a limb were gone. Though he knew a separation of their bodies did not mean a separation of their souls, Joseph felt betrayed! Even still, he wanted disconnection more than he desired divorce. So he prayed the silent prayer all men pray when the longing of love no longer sets them free:
Lord, help me to restore my power!
Until then, please protect me!
This is the price of a man’s falling armor . . . that even when the darkness of the past is removed, there is still the threat of war. So God came to Joseph when his camp was at peace.
“While he was trying to figure a way out, he had a dream.”
And where Joseph was blocking his healing or full empowerment or the full experience of love and joy, God showed him his wounds and removed its sting and replaced it with the experience of beauty, the abundance, the power and the joy that is His wish for all mankind. In his dream, Joseph was rejoicing because he knew Mary was a vessel that would carry God’s wish to all mankind; that this burden would forever be removed from his heart; that God’s holy truths, the currents of His love and power would remain to bring light to the center of every living being; that he would forever believe in the power and faith and in the light within him; that he would forever celebrate the feeling in the dream which was joyous!