"Mary did you know your baby boy would one day walk on water?"
One of my favorite Christmas Carols is "Mary Did You Know". Each time I hear it, my thoughts turn to the young teenage pregnant mother, Mary, preparing to deliver her baby.
I look back just weeks before I gave birth. I was 29 and had been married four years. It was an exciting, but scary time. Instinct, hormones, something took over and I began the process of "nesting". Everyone fussed over me. Neighbors visited, friends called and my mother packed her suitcase. There might have been a baby shower or two. Baby clothes were washed and hung. There was a good stash of diapers stored in the nursery closet. Arrangements had been made months ahead of time for delivering my baby. I knew there would be a room available. I knew there would be nurses and a doctor to care for both me and my baby. All asked of me was to wait, plan and dream of my child's bright future.
Though we are in the last week of Advent, ready to rejoice in the birth of Jesus, this mother's heart continues to return to the young pregnant girl traveling, with her soon-to-be-husband, to a distant city. There was no nesting... no parties... no one to fuss over her. Instead doors were slammed in her face, until she and her fiancé were offered a cave, a dwelling place for animals. Was she terrified? Instead of nurses and doctors taking care of every need, she gives birth in the presence of cows, goats and sheep.
As a mother and grandmother, I wonder what Mary hoped for her child? She had been told she was giving birth to the Messiah. Did she still hold in her heart the same hopes and dreams I had for my own child?
Did she know?
As I rush around wrapping up all the loose ends of holiday preparations, I continually find myself in awe of the faith of this young Mary who gave birth to our Savior so many many years ago. And I give thanks for the gift she gave to the world.
"Mary did you know...."
"when you kissed your little baby,
you kissed the face of God?
(my favorite Christmas carol)