Unwed, pregnant, traveling when your nine months pregnant – Crazy FEAR!
Fiance who stands beside you, promise from God, new baby in your arms – Immense JOY!
I can’t imagine the wild emotions that Mary faced leading up to the birth of Christ. It kind of irritates me that scripture doesn’t elaborate on the details of the moments, especially the emotions.
“While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manager, because there was no room for them in the inn.”
No emotion. Pure practicality in that account.
If we were writing this story today, I think it would go something like this:
“Oh my gosh! We finally made it to Bethlehem after a grueling day of travel. That journey is miserable anyway, but imagine being nine months pregnant. It’s a wonder this baby didn’t just pop out from all the jostling on that donkey! I can’t believe that Caesar insisted that we come RIGHT NOW! Couldn’t he make an exception for someone who’s pregnant? Then Joseph tried to get us a room for the night and everything was booked. While he was scrambling around trying to find a solution, my water breaks! Seriously??!! I’m supposed to have this baby right here, right now?! ‘God, what are you thinking?!’ So, sweet Joseph finds this stable for us. I plop down in the hay while Joseph tries to make me as comfortable as possible. (The stupid donkey wouldn’t quit heee-hawing.) Ugh! I’ve never experienced pain like that. I thought it was never going to end. But finally, I heard the sweet little cry of my baby, God’s son – Emmanuel.”
Perhaps Mary was much more calm and collected, but I gotta think it wasn’t all pretty. Someday I would really love to hear Mary tell the story. I would love to know what she was thinking and feeling.
Today I came across this one little passage caught my attention for the first time. Perhaps this gives us just a glimpse of her character and how she responded to the emotions and magnitude of that moment:
“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”
This was just after the shepherds arrived, saw for themselves and were spreading the news. I’m sure there was a lot of commotion going on.
But amidst the craziness, scripture suggests Mary chooses to reflect. I love that this passage uses the word ‘treasure’. That tells me that Mary had profound perspective on her circumstances. She knew she was blessed with a gift and she was savoring every moment. In spite of the craziness, she was focusing on what mattered.
This Christmas, amidst the busyness, the commotion, the chaos, do what Mary did. Stop to treasure and to ponder…