Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I’ve been thinking a lot about Mary these past few weeks. I’ve always admired her as the woman who was worthy to bear our Lord. She got pregnant, with no husband. She gave birth in a stable. She wrapped her baby in rags. She rode a donkey. That was about the extent of my admiration. This year is different. This year I have a precious little one, and I feel all of the intense emotions of motherhood, and oh, how I admire Mary.

She was pregnant with no husband. I imagine a scene; an angry father, a weeping mother, a disillusioned fiancé. How could you ever convince them you’d never had sex? After all, how else would you become pregnant? Without God sending Joseph an angel, I wonder if Joseph would’ve stayed with her. Mary must’ve been terrified. In those days women were STONED for such an offense, and I picture her with her hands cradling her belly, protecting her unborn child. I imagine the love she felt for her baby, even as she was scared for her life. I imagine her being ready to fight to the death for the little life God gave her.

I can picture her exhaustion on the long journey to Bethlehem; her desperation as she and Joseph searched for a place to stay. I see her lying on a sweet musty bed of straw; smell her sweat and hear her cries as she labours, trying desperately to be brave but at the same time so scared and eager and uncertain. I know the joy she felt as she brought her slimy, beautiful baby boy to her chest to warm him and nurse him and I’ve cried the tears she may have cried as she wrapped him in rags, feeling ashamed that she could not give him more.

She kissed the face of the baby that would save mankind. She held our savior, she sang him lullabies and rocked him to sleep. She loved him intensely, desperately, purely, heart overflowing, as most mothers do.

She gave birth so that he might die. Did she know?

Did she know?

I am overcome. I cry tears of joy and pain and grief as I walk with Mary in my imagination. Oh, Mary, blessed are you among women!

There are a few songs I’ve been hearing regularly on our Christian station that bring all of my emotions to a head and I cry nearly every time I hear them. You should look them up and listen to them.

“Mary Did You Know?” written by Mark Lowry.
Mary, did you know
That your baby boy
Would someday walk on water?
Mary did you know
That your baby boy
Will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know
That your baby boy
Has come to make you new?
This child that you've delivered
Will soon deliver you.
Mary did you know
That your baby boy
Will give sight to a blind man?
Mary did you know
That your baby boy
Will calm the storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy
Has walked where angels trod?
When you kiss your little baby
You've kissed the face of God.
Mary did you know
That your baby boy
Is Lord of all creation?
Mary did you know
That your baby boy
Will one day rule the nations?
Did you know
That your baby boy
Is heaven's perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you're holding
Is the Great I Am

The second song is “Born to Die” by Bebo Norman
They never knew a dark night
always had the Son's light
on their face
Perfect in glory
Broken by the story
of untold grace...
come that day
Majesty had come down
Glory had succumbed now
to flesh and bone
In the arms of a manger
In the hands of strangers
that could not know
Just who they hold
And the angels filled the sky
All of heaven wondered why
Why their King would choose to be
Be a baby born to die
And all fell silent
For the cry of an infant,
the voice of God
Was dividing history
For those with eyes to see,
the Son would shine
From earth that night

To break the chains
Of guilt and sin
To find us here
To pull us in
So we can join in Heaven's song
And with one voice around the throne

All the Angels filled the sky
And I can't help but wonder why
Why this King would choose to be
Be a baby born for me
Be a baby born
Be a baby born to die

1 comment:

Dusty Penguin said...

This blog is so beautiful. You are such a good writer. It made me bawl. I've never heard the second song, but I love the first one.