Mary Did You Know?
It’s good to be back! The past few weeks I took a blogging maternity leave so I could spend my time cuddling Caleb and enjoy the Christmas season. As wonderful as it was, I missed blogging so much and am returning with a new excitement and passion for it. ——– Being a new mom this Christmas season has caused me to think more about Mary, the mother of Jesus, than ever before. Although Caleb is not a perfect individual or the Savior of the world I feel a motherly connection with Mary. As I look back on my own birthing experience I picture the birth of Christ in a much different light. I think of Mary having to travel to Bethlehem while extremely pregnant. The Bible doesn’t say how she got there but however she travelled – on the back of a donkey, in a rickety cart, or walking miles on swollen ankles – it would have been uncomfortable. I know how much I hated being in the car for more than about ten minutes during late pregnancy and yet she didn’t have even that luxury. The poor girl must have been in so much pain while she was carrying the Son of God and yet she was willing to be the vessel to bring the Savior into the world. I think of Mary’s birth story with baby Jesus. I had the luxury of delivering my precious little boy in a hospital with medication available to take the edge off the pain. I knew that if something went wrong during my labor there were medical interventions available to save both my life and the life of my baby. Mary, on the other hand, was in a city far away from home. The city was packed with people and the only place for her to stay was in an area designated for animals. Nowhere in the Bible is the birth story of Jesus recounted but I can imagine the Joseph or the innkeeper rushing through Bethlehem to find the town midwife. I picture women Mary didn’t know swarming around her – bringing water warmed over the fire, speaking words of encouragement to her, and helping her bring Jesus into the world. Mary might have been wishing her mom was there as she was in labor for hours and hours, not knowing when the pain of labor would finally end and she would be able to hold her precious boy in her hands. On the other hand, the labor may have been quick and easy and Mary may have held her precious Jesus a mere hour or two after labor pains began. However it happened, the delivery of Jesus granted Mary access into the sisterhood of mothers. Although Mary knew her little boy was a miracle baby – the One spoken about in the Old Testament and the One to bring about the salvation of mankind – I imagine that she was amazed when a group of smelly shepherds showed up the night of her little one’s birth. I imagine her laying there in awe as these rough and tumble men bowed before her precious newborn’s bed of straw and worshiped him as their Savior. Did she feel a weight of responsibility when she realized that she would be raising the Son of God? Did she know that her tiny babe came into the world to die a horrendous death? Was her heart light with overwhelming love for her infant child or was it heavy with the knowledge of what her babe would have to go through as he grew? The Bible says that “Mary treasured up these things and pondered them in her heart.” As I treasure up the memories of Caleb’s birth and his first month of life I come closer to understanding Mary’s motherly love for her own little man. I join Mary in pondering in my heart the birth of Christ and look with anticipation to His future return.