Each of us born with such purpose sown into the fabric of our very souls. Each of us created to achieve certain things during our time on Earth. As a mom, I desperately desire to raise, healthy, kind, loving children who believe in themselves and encourage others, I want my crew to know they can achieve anything if they put the work into and that the call on their life is great.
Bringing home a “borrowed baby” this time of year has, me thinking of the story of the manger, of Mary and the night of Christmas when Jesus was born. I say” borrowed” baby because though I am his mama, waking in the night for all of the feedings, changing the diapers, watching him grow these past two weeks, he is not mine. I love him as if he came from my womb, I celebrate him, cherish him, delight in him. However, this road of foster care has taught me that they don’t always get to stay forever, I love them well with an open hand, ready to send them on their way at a moment’s notice, this is still the hardest part.
Mary knew that this baby growing within her womb, was borrowed. This baby had a greater purpose than being her son, this baby had a job to do and so did Mary. She was to birth this confusing miracle within her, she was to raise him and she was to love him, all with open hands. Mary’s calling had a bit more weight to it, did she know her sweet boy would grow up to endure the brutal cross, to save the world?
She knew this was no ordinary baby, his name alone told her of his importance. As the story unfolds we see glimpses of Mary’s journey, we see that the angel comes to her and tells her that she will be pregnant. She asks a few questions as she processes what the angel is telling her, she responds with a simple yet brave, “Behold I am your servant of the Lord, let it be me according to your word.” Mary accepted that fact that she was being used for something much greater. In her world the price tag of her calling, could have been death, talk about a weighty calling.
I have not experienced the process of childbirth, but have journeyed through it with many loved ones. The act of giving birth is messy, hard and exhausting, giving life to another drains you, the physical toll of bringing a human into this world is great. I can only imagine what Mary must of felt that night she laid eyes on the perfect little baby she had carried all those months, knowing He was different, that He had a very big calling.
When I walked into the hospital room and laid eyes on my Sweet Boy, I was filled with such love and a sense to do anything to keep him safe. As I rock him to sleep, and hold him against my chest, I wonder what this Sweet Boy will do in his life.
One of the things that has always stuck out to me in this story is a simple line, “Mary treasured up these things and pondered them in her heart.” As parents we all do this, we collect, ponder and absorb the things our children say and do, accepting that all of it is part of a bigger picture.
I can only imagine the things Mary pondered and collected over the years. She knew and believed who Jesus was and the importance of his life, we see evidence of that in the story of Jesus’ first miracle. I often wonder what were the thoughts that went through her mind as she watched him grow? I can’t help but wonder, if her heart ached for what was to come, did she know? Did she struggle like I, to love well but with an open hand? Did she accept the fact that this baby, boy and man was borrowed?
I love the story of Mary being approached by the angel and being told what was happening within her. I love that she accepted the calling. I love that she raised and loved Jesus well, collecting all of the things that she saw.
This story shows us the power of obedience, love and purpose. It teaches us to say yes, when we don’t have it all figured out, shows us to love with all we’ve got, because it is worth it. The cost is great, as Mary rocked Jesus to sleep in the manger that first night I wonder she was overwhelmed by the love she felt for this little life, the weight of the calling placed on Him, or if she just soaked him in, loving him well.