“Be near me, Lord”
Monologue, Mary, talking to baby Jesus, after the Shepherds have left
By Becky Emerick
SCENE: Mary, in the manger, rocking baby Jesus to sleep.
(rocking) Rest, Lord Jesus, little Jesus, my Jesus. Rest. I’ll keep you warm. (Shivers, tucks feet beneath her.)
In here, we’re protected from the cool night air. (Sees Joseph, smiles) Joseph. Look how he sleeps. (To Jesus) Your daddy, in a way I don’t even understand. The cold ground doesn’t seem to be affecting his rest. Oh but he must be so tired. What a night… after such a long journey.
But I can’t sleep, my little Jesus. My heart is so full. What a strong grasp you have, holding my little finger. You are going to be strong!
(Thinking) Strong. Of course you’ll be strong. Even though the angels told me, and the shepherds confirmed it, and even Elizabeth knew it to be true – looking at you, here, I wonder: how can our all-powerful God be contained in the body of one so small. So cute. So perfect.
(holds Him close). Oh, Jesus, I’d love to stay here, in this moment. It’s not comfortable, it’s not royal, but it’s peaceful. It’s quiet. (closes eyes). There’s comfort, and holding you, my soul is still. (looks at Him.) Right here, next to my heart.
(Looks up) Lord, I know you’ve been with me all along, but this – this miracle – I know it can’t last. (back to baby) I know I won’t always be able to hold you. Rock you. Protect you. I can’t keep your peace to myself. I can’t stay here in the solitude of the barn.
(Looks up) So Lord, please stay near me. Through whatever is ahead. The glorious and the gruesome. Be near me, Lord, like you’re near me now.
(Quiets baby) Shhhhh. (Rocking, quietly) Like you’re near me now.