A teenage mother moved in with a neighbor who had pity on her and her situation. After the child was born and was a few years old, the neighbor began to hint that the young lady should move to a place of her own.
The young woman found a roommate with a dog that was conveniently close to the hospital she had applied to work. As she packed up her few belongings, she realized she would miss the neighborhood that she had grown up in.
Her parents had no desire to see her, and in fact had never met their granddaughter. She drove past the home she had lived in for so many years and wondered how the family was doing. Her little sister happened to be leaving at the time, and their eyes met. She was embarrassed, wondering how she could have chosen the route she did that day. Her sister waved to her, from her smile she appeared happy to see her. She slowed the car and pulled over across the street, waiting in the car.
Her sister ran to the window and anxiously spoke of how much she missed her big sister. They had not been in contact for so long, and she was lonely without her. Because she continued speaking, the young woman invited her sister to join her in the car. She drove away and hoped that she wasn’t spotted by her parents or brother. The sister continued on, happily filling her in on details of the family and relating that their grandmother had just passed away. After a short ride, the two agreed to keep in contact and not inform their parents of the agreement.
The young woman moved into her new home with mixed emotions, but her daughter left little time for thinking. Often she awoke in the night after a nightmare, just as she had when she first left home. One particular dream bothered her, and that was of her daughter being bitten by her roommate’s dog, but chastised herself into letting it go. The young woman had a phone call from the hospital hiring manager and locked herself in the bathroom to hear without interruption. While she was away, her daughter was severely bitten by the dog in response to her daughter’s innocent but perceived aggressive actions. She drove the block to the hospital, blaming herself for not heeding the dream.
She let her sister know what happened while awaiting the first of several surgeries, wondering what to do. They must leave, but she wondered where they could go on short notice. She was surprised to see her mother and sister walk into the waiting room. It was an emotional and uncomfortable few hours before her mother finally met her eyes. She had become used to pretending they had no daughter, but seeing her faced with such pain had broken this façade entirely.
The granddaughter and grandmother’s first meeting was much less emotional, for the young girl easily accepted her grandmother. The tense seconds evaporated into awe at the innocent and simple chatter that broke through the silence by all. The next surgery was planned for the following day, and her grandmother promised to return. A week later the young girl was invited to live with Grandma and Grandpa. She squealed with excitement and asked when she could leave the hospital.
Moral of the story:
When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:
In Matthew 2:14 we read that Joseph had what could have been a bad dream. He might have questioned the dream’s validity, there was no angel there when he awoke. Instead, he acted with certainty, he awoke Mary and they left for a long journey that very night, clutching a young child and going to a place they were strangers. Unlike the mother in this story, Joseph didn’t question the warning. Certainly Joseph deserves some recognition for this action, but Joseph is hardly a blip in the story of Jesus. We don’t know how long he lived, we don’t know how he died, we know almost nothing about him.
Too often I talk myself out of an act of faith because it’s not convenient or it is not logical. Joseph’s actions in submitting to God’s will is a powerful example. He reminds me of men I know that honor God, and it truly humbles me. It takes looking outside of myself to realize it is not about my timeline. To be humble as Joseph, even knowing he was corruptible and human, shows me my own need to let go and just do what God directs.