vendredi 14 décembre 2012

John, his name is John...

This mini-story started out as an introduction to a sermon on the benedictus.  I just kept wondering about Elisabeth. Wondering how she reacted to being pregnant. Wondering how should would even have known she was pregnant...

Elisabeth was in the middle of tidying up after the meal when she gave a little yelp of surprise and stopped right where she was. What was that ? That feeling in her belly. That fluttering sensation. She shook herself and told herself to stop imagining things and to get on with the task at hand.

But no, there it was again. That same feeling.  Maybe she needed to sit down for a bit...

Her husband came round to her side. Not for the first time, since he got back from Jerusalem, Elisabeth felt frustrated. If only she could just tell him she had this strange feeling inside.

Could she be ill ?

She didn't feel ill. In fact she felt better than she had for weeks.

But there it was again. In an effort to explain, she took her husband's hand and placed it there, on her belly, just where the feeling was.  Pointless of course - he wouldn't be able to feel anything.

Zechariah's eyes filled with tears, tears that ran down his face - and at the same time, a smile, a smile as beautiful as a sunrise.

Suddenly he got up, and went and fetched his writing tablet.  She hoped he wasn't going expecting her to write down what was going on.  Daughter and wife of a priest, she could read, a bit, slowly, if the letters were nice and clear. But there was no way she could....

But no - Zechariah was writing something. Nice and big and neat so she could read it.

"John, his name is John".

John ? Who's name is John ? Had he invited someone to stay ? One of his priest friends from Jerusalem. No-one in the family was called John.  Elisabeth shook her head.

Zechariah pointed at his tablet again.

"John, his name is John".

Then he placed his hand, oh so gently, on her belly again.

John ? John ? A name. A baby name ? A baby ? Surely not ! 

But.... could it be ? After all these years ? Years when hope had become disappointment, then bitterness and finally resignation.

A baby ? At her age ? But how could she even be....

Then again, a baby would explain things. That bout of sickess that went on and on a couple of months back. Her sudden unexplained tiredness, that strange feeling....  And Zechariah had be particularly... well... attentive... since his return.

A baby ? Yes, a baby.

"John" she read at loud, "his name is John."

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