“Hi Joe! I’m Matt, the cameraman assigned to your story. Is this your first baby?”
“Yes, this is my wife’s first. Thanks—I should go check on her now.”
“Wait a minute, Joe; they need to get her situated. Didn’t they tell you that in your prenatal classes?”
“We didn’t take the class. Our situation is not normal. We hoped to have the baby at home but we were on our way to take care of some personal business when her water broke. We tried to find a hotel, but they were all sold out. I was getting concerned so I brought Mary here. Hey, look, I REALLY need to go now!”
Joe pulled away and pushed through the door. The nurse was positioning a monitor on Mary’s exposed belly. (Oh dear, I can’t see her like this! Do they have any idea what’s going on here?)
Quickly closing the door, once again Joe was at Matt’s mercy. “Joe, relax! We’ve done this show hundreds of times. We’ve never lost a baby yet but I must admit we about lost a few first-time fathers. Stay calm! Your wife is in good hands.”
(How do I explain to this guy that this is a holy and sacred moment—that Mary is giving birth to the God’s Son? Oh Lord, are you sure you want ME to raise Your Son? I can’t even figure out what I’m supposed to be doing right now! What am I going to do when He’s older and needs advice?)
“Hello, I’m Dr. Luke. Just call me “Doc” and we’ll be good to go! I’ll be delivering your baby today. You guys are from out of town right? Ha! You picked a bad time to travel! Anyway, give me some background on her and the pregnancy before I go in to meet her. We’ll give the nurses enough time to get her prepped.”
(How much do I tell him? He’s gonna think I’m nuts! Lord—I need your help!)
As Matt zoomed in on the conversation Joe searched for the right words.
“Well, I’m sure you’ve never heard a story like ours, but I’ll give it to you in straight. But, I promise you won’t believe me—I hardly believe me!”
Adjusting the camera, Matt knew he’d heard every story there was to hear. But there was something different about this couple—he wanted to make sure he got every word.
“Mary and I were engaged when I had a dream. In the dream an angel told me that we needed to get married, that Mary was pregnant. When I woke up, I called her and told her about my dream. She confirmed it—she was pregnant but she insisted she hadn’t been with anyone—that she was still a virgin and the baby was God’s Son. I was starting to think maybe I didn’t know her as well as I thought. I was raised in the synagogue and read stories of angels appearing to people in dreams, so what did I have to lose? I love Mary and I really didn’t want anyone else as my wife. So rather than walking out on her or sending her away, I decided to go ahead and marry her.”
Doc was chuckling under his breath. He’d heard this story more times than he could count. (Good heavens—why do all these kids try to make me believe they got pregnant without having sex?)
Matt was tempted to pack up his camera and go home. (I thought we had a winner here with this Baby Story, but it seems this couple is like all those others who claimed to not understand how they got pregnant! When will they learn?)
Joe continued though he knew they didn’t believe a word he was saying.
“Right after we got married, Mary went away for a few months to visit her Aunt Lizzie who was also pregnant with her first at age 65—that’s got to be a record, doesn’t it?”
Doc was about to interrupt but decided to play along with Joe just to humor him before they went into the delivery room.
“As soon as Aunt Lizzie had her baby, Mary came back—it was becoming obvious she was pregnant. Anyway…”
Matt interrupted Joe. “You mean to tell me that you let your pretty little wife leave for a few months right after you married? No honeymoon? No way I’d have done that!”
“You don’t understand, do you? We are married but, ummm, we aren’t married, if you know what I mean!” Joe was getting nervous—how could he make them understand this baby was the Son of God?
“Ok, I think it’s time for me to meet Mary.” Doc patted Joe on the shoulder and walked toward Mary’s room.
“It’s ok, Doc. I think you’ll probably understand more by the time the night’s over!”
“Hi, I’m Dr. Luke.” Immediately he was taken in by Mary’s eyes. She’s beautiful—her eyes are captivating! No wonder this guy married her! “Just call me Doc. I met your husband and he gave me a little background. I gotta admit his story is a bit far-fetched, but that’s between you and him. I’m here to deliver your baby.”
Mary shook his hand and managed a smile even though her contraction was peaking. “Nice to meet you.”
Doc put on his gown and gloves while talking to the nurse. Mary was ready to push.
“Ok, let’s have a baby! When I tell you, push down with all your might while I count to ten, take a deep breath and then do it again.”
Matt zoomed in on Mary’s face—intense, focused, and totally controlled. (Unusual! No epidural yet she looks almost peaceful. Something’s going on here—this might be the story of the year after all!)
Joe stood by Mary, holding her hand as she took a deep breath and began to bear down.
“One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten! Now, take a deep breath and do it again! One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten! Great! Now, relax until your next contraction. Do you need anything for pain?
Mary shook her head. “No, I’ve got to do this. Here goes again…”
“Bear down just like before as hard as you can.” Doc looked at Joe. “Come on, Joe, you’re a part of this—count for her…”
Mary began to bear down again, Joe counting, the nurse ready with whatever Doc needed—Matt caught every detail.
“Stop! Don’t push again until I tell you.” Doc carefully suctioned out the baby’s nose and mouth. “Here, Joe, take a look at your baby—one more push.”
Although curious, Joe would never embarrass Mary, not even at this point. After all, they had never been intimate. “Thanks, I’ll stay right here!”
“Mary, now push one more time and you should have a baby.”
Mary took one more deep breath, squeezing Joe’s hand as hard as she could.
“You have a boy—he looks perfect! You did great! Here, Joe, cut the cord!” Doc clamped the cord and laid the baby on Mary.
Shaking yet full of amazement, Joe took the scissors. (I can’t believe this—how could God have chosen me to raise His Son? I have so little to offer and yet I’ve been entrusted with so much!)
The nurse took the baby, cleaned him up, and wrapped him tightly in a blanket, and handed him back to Mary. “7 pounds, 7.7 ounces—nice size baby. He’s perfect!”
Mary smiled at Joe—they knew what each other was thinking. (You don’t understand just HOW perfect He really is!)
Doc finished up and was about to leave the room when the door opened. A blinding light filled the room while Matt quickly grabbed a filter for his lens. (I knew something was up here!)
A holy presence fell like a blanket, with a voice that shook the floor. “Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
Matt turned from the form standing before him and focused on Mary and the baby. (Wow! Who was that? They’re glowing?)
There’s a scuffle in the hallway. The security guards are shouting! “This is a HOSPITAL! Get those animals out of here!”
Matt ran to the hallway and captured the intruders on film as they walked past the guards toward Mary’s room. There they where—two men who looked like they’d been living in a field somewhere with their sheep. Once in the door, they bowed down by the bed while the sheep stood quietly. Within a few short moments, they turned and left without uttering a word. (What is going on here? Wonder who let those guys with their animals in here?)
As Dr. Luke was checking Mary a final time before leaving, there was a knock at the door. The security guards were going room to room with an announcement: “There’s something strange in the sky—the government assures us it’s not a UFO. We’re told it’s a star that’s moved closer to the earth but we’re not in danger. It appeared at midnight. So, if you happen to see it don’t be alarmed. Everything’s under control.”
Matt moved toward the window, opened the blinds and there it was—a star brighter than he’d ever seen shining through the window—like a spotlight. (This is unbelievable! How can a star be so close to earth? It’s got to be a UFO—the government isn’t telling us the truth!)
With the blinds open, Mary, Joe, and Baby were peacefully enjoying their first moments as a family. It was this peace that led to Doc’s parting comments.
“Mary and Joe, I’ve got to tell you this has been the strangest set of events I’ve ever seen. I’ve delivered hundreds of babies and never seen anything like this. From the moment Joe and I met in the corridor to this very moment … well, let’s just say this has been a night to remember!”
Joe shook Doc’s hand. “Thanks, Doc. Some day you’ll understand more about what happened here tonight. Thanks for everything.”
“Sure, I’ve got quite a report to write. Normally I spend a few minutes dictating notes to go in the patient’s file. Birth records are usually relatively routine. This record, however, will be anything but routine.”
Shaking his head, Doc turned to walk out. As an afterthought, he looked back. “By the way, what’s the baby’s name?”
Mary looked up with those deep eyes that first captured his attention. “His name is Jesus. It’s the name the Angel gave me when I learned I was pregnant.”
“Well, it’s different! Thanks, folks. Maybe we’ll meet again some day!”
Everyone settled in, it was time to get some rest. Matt was scheduled to be at the hospital when Mary was discharged. (How am I ever going to explain all this to my boss?)
“Good night! I’ll check with the hospital to find out about your discharge. Until then, you’re on your own. Thanks, folks. This is going to make quite a show. I imagine your little guy will draw the attention of people everywhere he goes. He’s a special little boy...this certainly hasn't been a normal birth story either!”
Walking toward the door, he stopped. “What did you say his name was?”
Mary whispered the name once more … “Jesus!”
Note: Without html it was difficult to show the diffference between dialogue and thoughts. All thoughts are put in parenthesis.
Jan Ross, President and Co-Founder of Heart of God International Ministries, is a passionate and outspoken defender of the Word of Truth and the Great Commission. http://heartofgodinternational.com. For more devotional material by Jan, please take a moment to visit www.hgdevotions.com.