Lately, I’ve been thinking about the Christmas story… and I keep putting myself in Mary’s place. I know the culture was different back then, but I thought about when I was engaged. So much planning and anticipation and excitement! So, honestly, if an angel came to me and told me I was going to have a baby, I’d freak out. Instead of singing a song of praise, I’d complain. “WHAT? that ruins all my plans! That’s not fair! People will talk! How is that going to look? My life is over”. And that’s why God didn’t choose me. But seriously, not to idolize Mary, but I’m amazed at her faith and trust in God. Despite a dramatic change in “her plans” and how “wrong” things looked, she sees the bigger picture.
And Joseph was pretty amazing too. One of our good friends wrote this the other day:“At times I see circumstances in other’s lives I just don’t understand, in fact some of them “look wrong”. Mary, was in a circumstance that “looked wrong”…it “looked” like adultery but it wasn’t. Joseph’s kindness toward Mary, his refusal to shame and blame her is a big invitation to me in how to be with others when things “look wrong” OR maybe even when they “are wrong”! Compassion is always the right response!”
This is really encouraging to me, especially as a nurse because sometimes it’s hard to have compassion on someone who got into a car accident because they were drunk driving, or someone who is having abdominal pain because they just ate fried chicken, chili cheese fries and spicy hot cheetos. It looks wrong… it is wrong… and yet choosing to have compassion– by God’s strength– can make all the difference. Because it’s so easy to judge. And now to change the subject, one of my favorite christmas songs is “Breath of Heaven”. I love the line that says “Breath of Heaven, hold me together”. How appropriate for the holiday season. Busy malls, long lines, traffic, the crowded post office, and my mile long to-do list tends to unravel me. But thank you God for sending your son to hold us together. And to remind us of the true meaning of the season, as cliche as that sounds.