Thursday, December 14, 2017

Mary's Heart

Since this past April (when I was graciously given a middle-aged Toyota Camry), I’ve had the privilege of listening to Moody radio on my drives to work. This morning, one of the show hosts pointed out how much she is awe of Mary’s story. There was no glitz and glam; Mary was seemingly hurled into a situation of shame, pain, and loneliness. And yet, she said yes to God. I’m not sure if there was an infinitesimal moment when Gabriel could have said, “Nevermind, Mary, I’ll ask the Lord who else He had in mind,” but if there was, I would have loved to hear what was going on in Mary’s mind.

Maybe it was naïveté. She led a small life, in a small town. How could she possibly know what she was getting herself into. Or maybe it was purely child-like faith. After all, she wasn’t as old as greeting cards and nativity scenes make us believe. Either way, she let God turn her world upside down, for the sake of His magnificent plan. And she didn’t do so resignedly, either. We get a beautiful glimpse of her heart in Luke 1:46-55. Mary’s Song, or the Magnificat, goes like this:

“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.”

I haven’t faced shame, but I have be plunged into seasons of pain, loneliness, and fear (you can read some of my thoughts on my other blog). So I think I understand a little bit of Mary’s situation. I’d like to think I approach these seasons with a small measure of humility and faith, yet there are many days when my response is far from beautiful. What can I learn from Mary?

Way before the annunciation, Jesus’ ancestor David penned these words. They echo the truth that Mary held in her heart:

Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him,
    on those who hope in his steadfast love,
 that he may deliver their soul from death
    and keep them alive in famine.
 Our soul waits for the Lord;
    he is our help and our shield.
 For our heart is glad in him,
    because we trust in his holy name.
Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,
    even as we hope in you.
- Psalm 33:18-22


1 comment:

  1. And she did so with enthusiasm as well. Humble, but thrilled/awed that she had been chosen for such a role. She had a Holy Spirit assurance that carried her through the eventual pain, confusing as it probably was.


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