A few years ago, I woke during the night thinking about the story of Christmas.
Often, when these middle of the night thoughts wake me, I simply head back to sleep without another thought.
I can only imagine how many life altering ideas I have come up with at 2 a.m. only to sleep them right out of my head by 6.
Sometimes, I do remember and the thoughts drive me to my bible, and to writing.
Sometimes, the thoughts are not exactly profound but they hit me profoundly – when that happens, I share it with the one person who most often gets it – my mom.
A few Christmases ago, I wrote her this note and I went back to search for it tonight.
And I am sharing it with you.
Nothing life altering, but it still amazes me as I consider what a gift-giving God we have.
A personal and loving God.
A God who adds details, plans and His own timing and provision to our days.
A God who knows our yesterdays and our tomorrows — and laces both with love and mercy.
He was that God to Mary – loving her in such a tender way as He prepared her story to become the story of Jesus.
Had such a crazy rambling thought today about Christmas and about Mary. I read Luke 2 again this morning and I knew you would understand..even though I don’t have a real point! I was just so moved by this that I wanted to share it with someone!
The bible talks about all Mary went through, and we really see a picture painted of a scared young woman, with no one she knew or deeply loved to help her through that night – through giving birth (Joseph was still so unfamiliar to her, gracious! All these years of marriage and I don’t even like to use the bathroom with the door open and Joel around, ya know what I mean?!)
So, here is Mary in labor with only her yet-unknown, unproven, untested ‘Joseph’ to help! She was so young, too. Just all of the story – such difficulty!
But then ..then, there is this turn around. Suddenly. A turnaround that doesn’t really fit the sort of “poor, lowly, unwed mother giving birth in a dirty barn” theme.
Suddenly, there is a change.
Everything is a more ‘glowing-Angel’s-singing-light-from-a-huge-star- sweetness’ right in the middle of the murky, sad story.
Suddenly, all the “things she treasured and pondered in her heart” are laid out for us.
All these moments:
the sweetness of that baby’s face
the shepherds worshiping him
angels singing over Mary’s beautiful new boy.
Such a nice, new change.
So I was thinking about how, years later as Jesus hung there – dying on a cross – with people spitting on Him and hurling insults at His beaten face and I became just flattened by the thought of Mary’s heart on that day.
I look at that verse so differently now (about Mary being able to treasure those sweet events at His birth) and wonder if God injected this sudden beauty into that moment, not just so we could all enjoy this story centuries later celebrating Christmas, buying gifts and hanging sparkly lights, but because He – in His infinite wisdom, caring and love – knew what He would have to put Mary through later.
He knew that this fully human “mama” heart would feel such loss and nearly unbearable pain, ya know?
I was thinking that maybe, God spoke and nudged her to “treasure” and “store” these moments of beauty as her personal Christmas gift, from Him, because of what was to come…
Just a thought.
And we are loved by that same God, Mary’s God, in that same way.
He knows the story — our story — will have brokeness.
And for some of us? Utter devastation. But He gives us today, not just enough mercy for the day – but mercies enough to fill a storehouse- to see us through the worst of our tomorrows.
He is good – all the time.
Looking for mercies and joy to ponder and treasure and Authentically Yours,
“But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart”~Luke 2:19