Mary’s Little Lamb
by Sinmisola Ogúnyinka
Mary walked under a blazing sun to the edge of the olive orchard to meet Joseph, her betrothed. Her body felt new, distorted, nauseous, and ecstatic.
“As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord,” her father’s deep voice rang out at every meal, but he’d caught her several times forget to say the grace.
She reserved those confessions for her walk by the cascade. The stream rushed with exceptional warm water and she wished she could jump in the way she did as a child. But she was a full-grown woman now. Betrothed too. No one could ever understand such childish behavior and her father would never condone it. Sometimes it amazed her he gave them so much freedom to be whom they wanted yet kept everyone on a tight leash.
She put her hand in the water and closed her eyes. Joseph ought to be here now. Words tumbled through her mind. How would she tell him? Would he even believe her? Will her marriage to him be terminated and she becomes an outcast? No. Jehovah would never put her in such a strait. Everything had changed in such a little time. She was no longer a young girl, free to make her mistakes. Her heart thudded. Jehovah knows best, and he knows why. Of all the betrothed maidens in Israel, she had gotten the visitation. She believed God. He used the weak things to confirm the strong.
Joseph's shadow extended into the dusk.
She turned at the footsteps behind her. Joseph. So strong, so handsome. She was blessed to have him. She smiled.
He crouched beside her. “Beloved.”
His dark eyes searched her face. She looked away shyly. He was such a deep thinker. Would he understand? Or had Jehovah sent him a messenger too?
“It seemed important to send for you. To come here.” She looked around her. “It’s so peaceful here. I feel close to the presence of God.”
“It is a beautiful and calm place to be.” He narrowed his eyes. “We only meet here when something important is to be said. Don’t keep me waiting.”
She drew in her breath. “I had a visitor.”
“Jehovah be praised.”
Trust Joseph to be willing and eager. But many had been divinely visited. From the days of Abraham and the fathers of faith. None like this.
“A little lamb will be mine soon. Ours.”
Joseph frowned. “A little lamb?”
“The Holy Spirit—I am with child by the Holy One. The messiah.” She didn’t make sense to her own ears.
Joseph picked the only sentence any man would. He straightened. “You are with child.”
She nodded. “The angel of the Lord—”
“Do whatever you wish but by the heavens do not blaspheme!” He stepped away from her. “Do not blaspheme, beloved.” He turned and walked away at the speed of light.
About the Author
Sinmisola Ogúnyinka is a pastor’s wife, mother, writer and movie producer, and the published author of Under a Red Delta Sun and Blue Dawn. She has a bachelor’s in Economics, an MFA in Creative Writing and is a Craftsman of Jerry B. Jenkins’ former Christian Writers’ Guild. She lives with her family in Philadelphia, PA.
You can read Sinmisola’s “Flash Fiction” column on the 4th Tuesday each month here at Mustard Seed Sentinel.