Oh, it was a stain all right, one that could never be washed away, nor dissolved, nor could any amount of explaining stop the whispers nor the guarded looks nor the snickers behind the hand. We believe she was merely a teenager when she learned of the situation. She was not married. She was pregnant. Her name was Mary and she was now stained.
The conception was of the miraculous and it was an angel who told her the implausible news. Mary tried to account to Joseph; I expect he stared incredulously at this girl he loved as she recounted the strange tale, but as much as he adored her, he could not believe. He mulled over the situation, knew he was not the father of the baby, and resolved to break the relationship. Then an angel talked to him and the angel’s story was the same as Mary’s, so Joseph believed, and together this young innocent couple lived with the stain, with the shame.
The stain was enduring and was a thing of beauty, but they didn’t know about that, only about the reproach of the pregnancy and of their daily difficulties. Little did they understand that the blood of the baby born that night in Bethlehem was of the eternal and that its shedding, its staining of the wood of Golgotha, would be that to redeem mankind.
So, the beauty of stain becomes apparent. It becomes of efficacy, of potency, so that a piece of textile subjected to pots of color and to the clacking of loom is transformed into an item of beauty and of benefit.
Strange, is it not. Rare. A lesson to be learned.