“But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Luke 2:19
Mothers notice things, keep things in the most secure space they own, their heart. The space that spasms with every joy or sorrow. That jumps to attention when her loves are threatened. That melts in moments when her loves return affections or do something from their own hearts of love for others.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, was no different. She felt the full range of mother monitoring. She quickly offered her breast to her hungry baby. She knew that this birth meant immeasurably more than any other baby’s birth in the history of the world. That His fame would be a flame that could never be extinguished. I imagine that it was all too much at first, but God made it just enough for her to handle. He quieted her heart to ponder what was happening. He caused her to keep it all in the safe place of her heart. He revealed at the most appropriate times all that raising the Son of God would entail.
I think of Mary more at Christmastime because of the focus on the Savior’s birth. I thought of her with each of my own children’s births. Going through the labor and delivery process with a mind prepared by Lamaze, in a clean hospital with good support. I felt empathy for this young woman who only had Joseph and a stable. How strong and trusting she had to have been.
This Christmas I have been stuck on the song “Mary did you Know?” The lyrics, penned by Mark Lowry, ask a question, over and over, listing the miracles that Jesus would perform, the redemption and deliverance He came to offer. Where He came from and where He was going and what He would be doing in the time between. I believe Mary knew her son was God’s only begotten Son, yet a human heart can only hold so much.
“And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.” Luke 2:51
The pondering part is always the rest of the story. In her heart she knew her baby boy would change the world. In her heart she knew that no one would ever be the same once they asked Him into theirs.
Mothers really can’t know everything their children will do or become. Will they cause your heart to almost burst with pride and love or will they cause your heart to break with disappointment? In my experience, yes and yes. They are human beings after all. The cost of loving your children is so high at times you wish you could somehow bail yourself out. But you can’t. Mother love is unconditional.
For all the mothers pondering all you hear, all the “sayings” that will be in your hearts forever, Jesus came, and what that means to me and all of us is this, “God with Us” Emmanuel. (Matthew 1:23) No struggle we face as a mother is a surprise to God. The shock you may feel in the deep tender area of your heart needs the comfort that God sent Jesus to give.
Mary had to have known that her baby boy would have to die one day, yet she pondered the moments that lay ahead of her, the mothering day to day. And this is all we can do. Ask God for guidance and help in the now. Trust God to handle the future. Live in the hope that everything is going to be alright, because God gave us His Son to one day right all the wrongs in this life.
On these days after Christmas, before we set out on this New Year, I pray you linger at the manger a little longer. With Mary, ponder all the things that really matter and let this year go in gratitude and grab on to the new one with gusto. In Christ, the best is truly yet to come!
“Looking for that blessed hope, and glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” Titus 2:13-14