Mary as a Child (1994)

Copyright J. Cobb


Mary is a little Hispanic girl from East Austin. St. Joachim (Mary’s father) is a man from Durango, Mexico. He and John worked side-by-side digging the thorn-laden mesquite from a farmer’s field near the Colorado River east of Austin.

Mary’s face does not reflect a carefree childhood, but rather perplexity revealing a premonition of the suffering that is to come (Matt 2:13-18) as the thorns on the tree remind us. But this anxiety is contrasted with another emotion: her father leads her on a gentle pony, with her little dog sitting happily by her side. It is a time of delight and security—to comfort her for the times to come. Her halo confirms that future reward.

Dr. William Penn asks, “How does one enter Mary’s work, to grasp it, in terms of the ordinary events of our world? Is Mary simply thrown into the inconceivable events of the annunciation, the birth in Bethlehem, the flight into Egypt, the loss of Jesus as a young boy in the crowded and tumultuous city of Jerusalem, his public ministry, and his crucifixion and resurrection? How does God prepare her for all the joyful, luminous, sorrowful and glorious mysteries she is to experience?”

How does He prepare you?