The Christmas Escape

by Holly Duncan

The young family lives in a sparsely furnished apartment. A few pieces of well-loved, hand-me-down furniture inhabit the room, and some snapshots on the wall from last year’s carnival photo booth complete the decor.

Arriving home from work in a mad rush of energy, the father hurriedly tells his wife to grab anything she wants to keep and stuff it in a bag. “They know,” he says ominously, “and they’re coming.”

His wife turns to the nursery where her baby son sleeps. Not too long ago, they were hosting guests who’d come to visit the baby. She grabs the diapers in the drawer, a few outfits, and a warm blanket. She picks him up, and on her way out the door, she grabs fruit and half a loaf of bread from the counter in the kitchen.

The family pushes out into the cold night on a desperate journey to cross the border and escape their dangerous situation. Still, they know the risks of the roads they must take, which are home to robbers hiding in the shadows. In the morning they will be on safer roads, but even those are patrolled by soldiers.

There is no money for meals or hotels along the way. Mary, Joseph, and the baby must rely on the hospitality of strangers and the strength of their faith. They have become homeless refugees.

“Mary has been driven out of her home, forced to leave behind her dream of returning to her home in Nazareth, her parents, family, lifelong friends, the community of women she talks with daily at the well. Her entire life style and support system are gone. What would you like to say to her?”

This post includes quotes and paraphrasing from the book Praying with Mary by Mary Ford-Grabowsky (pgs 44-45).