Mary’s Signature

Detail from stained glass window at St. Mary's...

Detail from stained glass window at St. Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mary’s Signature

“Let’s match numbers,” said the nurse as she came into the room with the newborn infant.

The new mother agreed that this was her son born in the wee hours of the day. The father said 5:13 AM to be precise.

The little boy just back from tests was handed to me as the nurse went over the paper work.

“Put an X here, and sign the three pages,” said the nurse. The clipboard was passed to the mother as the father looked on. Then the nurse added, “You should sign this paper too, since you two are not married.

There I was rocking in my arms the newborn that was about twelve hours old. Meanwhile the proud couple was dealing with the legalities of having a baby out-of-wedlock.

At the moment I was not thinking of a Spring conversation I could not avoid hearing through closed doors, when the nearly forty-year old secretary was shouting on the phone over and over, “I’m too old to be having a baby.”

My mind was drawn to another December birth years and years ago. Baby Jesus came into the world as the son of an unwed mother. Good thing she delivered in a manger. Otherwise she would have had a clipboard full of papers to sign that were designed to identify the father-who-is-not-the-legal-husband of the child.

Luke 2:7 “And she brought forth her firtborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.”


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