Did I tell you what I’ve been reading lately? The Bible, believe it or not, The Holy Bible. This whole immaculate conception thing got me thinking, and of course I could read something about conception itself, the science of it – the birds and the bees, you know; gosh, it’s been a while since I’ve thought of any of that – or of course I could ask Gretchen about that, but she’d wonder what I’m up to, and there’s no way I’m telling my Gretchen that I think little Lilly-Anne – little Lilly-Anne who she babysat for – anyway, right now my theory is just between you and me. I didn’t tell Mr. Bellis, even though I think he might be inclined to agree with me, like I said, and I might tell him, just haven’t yet, so this is just our theory for now.
So, anyway, I’ve been reading the Bible, figure I’d get the story from the source. I don’t know of any other immaculate conception besides Jesus, do you? Well then. But truth be told I didn’t know exactly where to look, or even what I was looking for, really, just a good story, I guess – no, more than that: I want to know … I want to know what’s going on, and I want to know what I should do about it. Who’s gonna tell me that? Are Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John gonna tell me what to do when our neighbor is pregnant with the child of God? Well, it’s not really a how-to-book, the Bible, but I don’t know where else to look.
Y’know one thing that concerns me as I’ve been reading about the birth of Jesus? I started with the Book of Matthew, and the way I read it the angels keep appearing to Joseph. Where’s Mary in all this? She’s busy bearing God Almighty – or his son … I’m not sure how the Trinity all works out – but she’s got the baby in her belly – The Baby – and King Herod and his men are following the stars and coming for them, coming after them, and she hasn’t even got a good place to sleep, and she’s on the run, and she’s pregnant! I know how that is, being pregnant, believe me I haven’t forgotten that. So she’s running off on a donkey, and all the time God has impregnated this innocent girl the angels are appearing to Joseph, telling him what to do. Well, who’s talking to Mary, Mother Mary? I suppose there are all sorts of men around who are willing to tell her what to do, but why not the angels directly? Why don’t they talk to her? Why don’t the men listen to her? How come we never hear from Mary? This is the Mother of God we’re talking about!
Anyway, that’s what the Gospel of Matthew says, but it’s not Mary I’m really concerned about here: it’s Lilly-Anne. Who is her Joseph, for one? Who is gonna be hearing the angel messages and helping protect her and her baby? That could be an important baby! and maybe we all ought to be reading the Bible … or some how-to book, whatever you can get your hands on.
Do you talk to God? Do angels ever talk to you? I’m serious. If we’ve got God’s child in utero in our village then we’d better start preparing. If anybody around here had been talking to God, I would have thought it might have been Lilly-Anne herself. I’ve told you she’s a blessed child. But like I also said, she had some crazy thoughts as a kid – kinda dark; scary, really, and I didn’t want to believe in them, but what if she was talking to God the whole time? Angels or demons, who knows what kind of story this is gonna be? It all depends on who’s talking, and who’s listening. I don’t know who’s talking to who out there in the village – I just know you and I are talking, that I know – but I want to be on the side of the angels, if that’s the decision I have to make. But how do you know? Who is hearing the angels around here?