Elizabeth's Story (in five short parts)

Elizabeth’s Story

He can’t speak!
He can’t speak!
He’s lost his voice!
He went to the Temple with a voice…
And he came back without one.
He’d been waiting for his turn in the temple for a very long time…
Its’ such a privilege, such an honour, and finally, the lot fell to him.
But now he can’t speak!
Such a thing doesn’t usually happen to a priest when he has served in the Temple.
Why’s he doing this to me?
Mind you – it’s a lot quieter round the house, and easier too.
It’s a bit difficult to interfere when you can’t say anything.
But all the same…
I want my Zechariah back!

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Now its me that can’t speak!
I don’t know what to say!
I’m lost for words!
Zechariah says – well, he has written because he can’t speak –
Zechariah says that I am going to have a baby!
Me!  At my age!
What will the neighbours say?
They’ve had a lot to say, over the years, about my shame and disgrace,
O they’ve discussed all the reasons why I haven’t got pregnant.
And I’ve had to endure their looks and their talk
as well as coping with my own grief for the child I’ve never had.
And now…
I don’t know what to think!
I don’t know what to say!

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You’ll never guess who has come to stay?
Mary! Our little cousin from Nazareth.
Well, she’s not so little any more and – you’re not going to believe this –
She’s having a baby too!
She’s younger than I am of course, but she hasn’t been with a man!
So she says anyway and I believe her.
An angel came and told her that the Holy Spirit is going to give her a child.
And the strange thing is, when I saw her, my baby leapt inside me.
It was as if my boy – I’m sure it’s a boy – was recognising hers…

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It’s a boy!  I knew it would be a boy!
We had the circumcision and naming today.
And didn’t the neighbours get a shock!
Of course, they thought the baby would be called Zechariah after his father;
But I said, “We are calling the baby, John.”
Well, they wouldn’t believe me, of course, and had to check with the head of the household –
Even though he still couldn’t speak.
Zechariah excelled himself.
He called for writing materials and took his time to write, ‘His name is John.’
That showed them and they didn’t know what to say!
And whilst they were being speechless, Zechariah got his voice back again!
So now – there’s three of us in our household with a lot to say!

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If you had told me a year ago, that all this would have happened in the last few months,
I would not have believed you!
But do you know – the strangest thing of all, I think, is the mystery of what is going to happen to our son.
He’s just an ordinary baby, our John,
He feeds and cries and wets his nappy, just like any other baby,
And yet, it seems he is to be somebody special.
The other day Zechariah got all eloquent and prophetic
And made a long speech that I can’t remember
Except that it talked about - preparing the way.
But preparing the way for what?
And for whom?

© Jacqui A. Horton