Tuesday, December 15, 2015

There's Something About Mary

There's something about Mary… No, not the movie. Mary of the Bible. I just adore her. She's the woman I want to be. I love that she's the one who was chosen. She just does whatever is asked of her, and she trusts God implicitly. She overcomes her first knee-jerk reaction of fear and shows up ready to serve.

I'm not sure about y'all, but if I were a virgin, I wouldn't be super excited to get signed up for the job. Unwed moms back then were social pariahs. It wasn't just something that was gossiped about, it was so shameful that she was probably cast out by friends and family. Imagine how tough that would be to keep faith in God.

And telling people she was a virgin? We can all imagine how that conversation went: "….ummm Mary? You're talking about dreams and angels and a virgin conception? Uh huh. Sure." I can imagine people walking away shaking their heads thinking "Do you think we're stupid? We all know you and Joseph were getting busy before the wedding." Imagine how insulting it would feel to all her religiously devout friends and family to describe what they assumed was promiscuity/scandal and slap the label of holiness on it. It must have been offensive and caused a lot of conflict.

And a virgin birth? I don't want to know how excruciatingly painful that was.

Nothing about what Mary agreed to appeals to me. Not one bit. Even while Jesus was in her womb kicking, I wonder how many times she silently stared out a window feeling lonely and frightened. I can picture her putting her hand over her growing belly, hoping and praying it was all worth it. 

The bible doesn't tell us a lot about what was going through Mary's mind. It tells us that she never questions if what Gabriel is saying is true, it just tells us that she asks how. She is a willing servant, but she still had to have some human reactions of curiosity and apprehension. As her belly grew, I imagine her loneliness did as well. As word got around that "God put that baby in her belly" {I imagine people putting airquotes up as they talked about it}, I'm sure less and less people associated with her. 

I've been unmarried and pregnant, and I can vouch for the fact that a lot of people you love don't return your calls anymore. And I was pregnant 2,000 years AFTER Mary. I imagine that what I faced was NOTHING compared to what she did.

BUT, what this story teaches me is that God does His best work in the dark valleys of life. The tough twists and turns make the high points so much more glorious. I'm so glad God picked Mary. She was absolutely the right one for the job. She so perfectly embodies who I want to be in Christ. In the low places, I want to rest in the knowledge that God is with me, and show up ready to serve.

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