Vinita Hampton Wright, who is an enormously gifted author and editor, used this short reflection with our 19th Annotation of the Spiritual Exercises group. I found it exceptionally powerful. Tomorrow we’ll have a second one featuring Joseph.
Your place is with Joseph, and you are grateful to have that place. He so easily could have abandoned you; he could have had you stoned to death. But he is here, and you are together. But you are not happy, not at all.
The baby will come any day. You leave behind your mother, who will fight to the death for you and the child, but she cannot leave Nazareth because of the decree. You leave behind the two midwives who ignored all the horrible gossip and have cared for you up to this very morning, when they handed you herbs and extra balm, oil, and cloths.
You leave behind walls and a roof—will you give birth on a blanket beside the road, with strangers gawking as they go by? You leave behind the cradle Joseph made himself, polished and gleaming and perfect.
You leave behind so many people who love you but who think you have succumbed to strange hallucinations. You leave behind all you know of home.
What do you fear?
What do you dream?