"Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her." - Luke 1:38
As Mary is the mother of Christ, she is also our mother. And like we learn from our earthly mothers, we can also learn from her. Her "yes" to God was not a one-time thing, rather it was a choice made every day of her life from that moment on. To raise her Son, God made flesh, in truth and love. To place herself and her own plans aside and accept God's will. To open her heart to great suffering and great joy.
When I think of Mary, I think of a mother who...
- with incredibly deep faith, placed her own plans aside and accepted God's will.
- kept calm in the most stressful and heartbreaking seasons of life; she never lost hope in God.
- embraced the gift of life as it was foretold and then grew in her womb.
- doesn't draw attention to herself, but rather continually points others to Jesus
- had complete confidence in Jesus' power and His plans.
- embraced her role as a mother while also submitting herself as a follower of Christ.
- doesn't hesitate to bring her concerns, especially for others, to Jesus.
- brought up her child in an environment of truth and love.
- was respected and loved by her son and the other people in her life.
- was aware of happenings around her and eager to help others.
- embraced a role of hospitality as she cared for others in her midst.
- never abandoned Jesus, even in his greatest suffering.
Maybe we can even imagine her in our day: the mama dressed simply, speaking lovingly, helping others, building friendships. teaching gently, filled with grace. The mama sitting on her couch, watching over her son with careful eyes, chatting with a friend about life and praising the Lord for his goodness. On her dining table, a cold cup of tea, a teething necklace, a recipe book, a study Bible. Her home is ordered but full of life, humble and inviting and kind. So little of Mary's life is known to us, but imagining her in my own season of life is so inspiring and encouraging to me.
Mary feels so distant, sometimes, because in reality she lived so long ago, in an entirely different culture. She was so unlike me in so many ways: the daughter of saintly parents, consecrated to God, the virgin mother of the living Christ. But, like me, she is a beloved creation of God. And a mama.
As Mary is the most perfect example of motherhood, we look to her obedience, her humility, her grace for inspiration. We pray for her intercession as she is now united with Christ in Heaven, and we pray that our souls and our loved ones will one day be united with Him as well. May she walk with us through this journey of motherhood -- messy hair and dirty dishes, playdates and cupcakes, through life's great joys and great sorrows.