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“A Christmas Journey of Prayer
Then the word came with the iron
Of empire forged in it:…
Of enrollment. Lands and provinces,
They’d said, and men and citizens and slaves.
And Joseph also went up from Galilee out of the city of Nazareth into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem…to be enrolled with Mary, his espoused wife, who was with child.
A door was closed behind them, and the sound
Was loud in isolated emphasis
Against the stillness and the dawn’s cold fog…
A woolen shawl
And wrappings clutched together for the cold
A final glance had shut away this house
That had been hers, the echo of her movement
Fades to silence…
It’s true enough, that they had often stopped,
And she had gone, as one among the rest
Of women then to find relief against
The road’s fatigues, and when the fires were made,
She worked among them in the fading day.
Did they not know? Could they not feel the nearness?
…The Source? Already, some unheld reflection
Of the questing light that was to rest
Forever in His eyes, looked out from hers
As answering, she said: “To Bethlehem.”
“Enveloped her…” In addition to the cold, what else do you think enveloped Mary as she trod the distance to Bethlehem? What is suggested throughout the poem? What do you think enveloped Joseph? What envelops you now? What do you make of the last four lines – consider them in light of the previous GraceLines?
(Excerpted from A Woman Wrapped in Silence By John W. Lynch)