“Joseph and Mary”


Pudgy fingers tugging at your mother’s long, dark hair

As you gaze up from her breast with brown eyes old beyond compare.

Your mother cried in pain as she waited for your birth,

But now a peace has covered all the Earth.

What kind of child are you? I’m proud to call you mine

And the wonder that I feel to see the star they call your sign.

My home is yours, and all of its protection I will give,

And the wonder of just knowing that you live.


Barefoot from the dusty road, dirty fingers every day,

You ask me for a treat that you can share with friends at play.

Your hug and kiss and happy voice give meaning to my life,

And the joy of being a mother and a wife.

What kind of boy are you? I wonder every day

The see the way you grow and then to hear the things you say.

Your tears were made for greater things than having scraped your knee,

But for now, you know that you can come to me.


Your hands are strong but gentle as I watch you work with wood —

I’ve watched you carve a beam the way I’ve always wished I could.

But this is not your trade, my boy — go do what you must do:

Your work’s with human lives, to shape them true.

What kind of man are you? I’m beginning now to see

The things you learned from your father, you did not learn from me.

But I’ve been honored just to know you and to help you see

That a humble man’s the greatest thing to be.


You paid the price you knew you must for speaking out God’s truth

And the world can only see a man who’s cut down in his youth.

I speak your name — I know you’ll hear, although your heart is still.

Your blood and words you spoke, they’ll never kill.

What kind of God are You, who could come to be like us,

Knowing that a closest friend could still betray Your trust?

But the memories of the child remain — You gave all that you could:

A father’s child whose work was done in wood.

(Joseph and Mary)

The tomb of stone is empty, and the shroud’s an empty shell.

The aftershock of Easter touched the very depths of Hell.

Your spirit has renewed us and has made Your power our own,

To live the kind of lives that You have shown.

What kind of Master are You, who could test our faith so much,

Knowing we could not succeed without Your constant touch?

So day by day we seek You, though You’re never very far,

And Your life outshines Creation’s brightest star.

— Steve Brown, c. 1983