Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Good Company

I don't know why we know so little about Mary. She is, after all, the one who birthed the Savior of the world. Last night I was at a Christmas gathering and we were all asked this question: "If you could have coffee with any person in history, who would it be?" For me it was a tie between Bono, C.S. Lewis and Francis Schaeffer. But after I thought more about it this morning, I decided on Mary.

How long was she in labor and how badly did it hurt? Did Jesus cry that robust, red-faced cry when He was born? Who tended to her after the labor and delivery? There was no mention of a mid-wife and I'm guessing that Joseph didn't have a clue. Did she doubt whether she'd really seen and heard that angel of the Lord? Did she maybe wonder if she was crazy, wonder that it had all been a dream? What were all of those thoughts that she "treasured up" and "pondered in her heart?"

This side of Heaven, I won't know. But today with new eyes and a needy heart, I gazed upon the few words we do have in Luke 1. Commentators call it "Mary's Song."
My soul glorifies the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
for the Mighty One has done great things for me
holy is his name.
His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.

{emphasis mine}
That Mary's words find resonance with a 21st-century mama just struggling through the everyday with her own baggage...well, God's word is so faithful. Today I have been especially mindful of my own humble, servant-like state. I cried when my husband left for work this morning, overwhelmed by the mess and the children but mostly overwhelmed by my own inadequate self.

The inadequacy. It waxes and wanes depending on the day but oh, there are times when I am simply swallowed up by it and it seems there's no way out, no glimpse of grace. The tears have flowed freely and the frustration has shot my nerves to pieces and it is in my swallowed-up state that I long to be rescued.

Still in pajamas, still recovering from tantrum-throwing toddler, still staring at heaped-up clothes in every room of the house, the older two and I, we finally sit at the oak table to gather ourselves in so many ways. And we sit 'round our first-ever Jesse Tree, our very own family's "shoot" pointing to the Savior, despite days of feeling stunted and broken and stump-like.

More than a few days behind, I read and I read, story after story, as tears burned and heart ached and children stared at me...crazy, crying mama. We read of destitute Naomi and desperate Ruth and Rahab the prostitute {my favorite,} all broken-down women who only God could make great and who humbly took their places in the line that would eventually bring Jesus into the world.

Is it any wonder that He felt so at home among the lowly and the beaten-down? He came out of them and He also came unto them. Only God would do such a crazy, wonderful, upside-down and inside-out thing!

Sometimes I simply need to know that I am in good company and maybe you need to know it too. I need to know that the Savior of the world is also the Savior of this girl and the Redeemer of rotten days. I need to know, like Mary and her inadequate sisters, that He is mindful of my humble state, that his mercy extends to me and that the only greatness that matters is that which the Lord raises up out of nothing.

Mary's song is for all of us.

I pray that grace and strength and fresh hope will be yours and mine during this third week of Advent.


  1. okay so I'm actually crying reading this and I hardly EVER cry!!! Your honesty is just so magnetic and makes me wonder if I even know the Lord as well as I would like to think I do. To train my heart to truly believe He actually WANTS to come into our mess and extends His great mercy to us EVERY stinkin morning is just a beautiful way that I long to learn how to live out! We moms are much too hard on ourselves. I don't remember the piles of laundry or how clean our bathrooms were growing up, but I do remember what my mother taught me and how she made me feel..I loved those homeschooling days curled up by the heater. THAT's the stuff that sticks...so why do we freak out when the dishwasher is full AGAIN?? ;)

    Love you. keep on writing girl...God has gifted you so!


  2. i cried too when reading the rahab story. she's my favorite of all of Jesus' relatives. :-) see you in the cold a.m.!

  3. Scooper, thank you for pointing us (me) to The Story. I really like your words about our Savior coming out of, and for, us messed up people. So true! so true!
    I pray that this Christmas season finds you and yours spending more time in contemplation on who He is and why He came for us. Our Jesse Tree has a way of making me weep, too.
    I'll be waiting to read more of your fine words.
    much love to you and yours.

  4. Your posts are so beautifully written, but are so much more than that. They help others find truth through tears; strength through struggle.

    We are in such good company.



  5. You can't write this stuff for pregnant ladies to read at Christmas- just. not. fair. :) Holy Spirit is speaking right through you precious lady- we love you SO much!

    Sarah and Tiny~*

  6. just poppin in to say hello. love you and hope that you get some relief from that toddler of yours soon. talked with dede and she said she's been really sick. love you and will pray for you today my Mary.....

  7. Redeemer of rotten days. Carrying that with me. Thanks for your vulnerability - it shines Jesus.

  8. Out of them and unto them. That about sums it up, doesn't it?

    May you find shadows of the Savior everywhere you look, traces of His tenderness in every corner.

    Love you!


Share your thoughts?


Blog Widget by LinkWithin