Today I am thinking of Mary.
I am thinking about the unexpected pregnancy, the faith in an angel, the discomfort of traveling too many miles on dusty trails, while in labor, on the back of a donkey.
I am thinking about no room at the inn, and no place to rest her travel-weary body, and what had to have been a dirty (smelly, feral, gross) delivery, and how through all of it, she was keen upon one singular truth: that in her pain and ache, in her torment and her joy, in her sweat and her blood and the meat of all matter, she was birthing the Savior.
Do you wonder if the thought ever crossed her mind, even in a flicker of doubt or a downcast glance begrudging but silent, as to why God wasn’t making this process a little easier on her?
Surely the Savior of the world needed to come to earth in the most humblest of circumstances—that symbolism is beauty—but do you think she understood in that moment how her suffering was so requisite to the blooming tableau of His life? Do you think she ever thought, “Maybe Heavenly Father might make this a little easier on me? A bed at least?”
And then, to not be a mother and then to be a mother, suddenly burdened and ennobled with a mother-heart, do you think she sometimes felt-wide-eyed and wizened? And overwhelmed by the immense love, the later grief, the kinship and part in our ultimate blessing?
I don’t know. I think she must’ve been greater than most of us. Or was she just a girl—privy to girlish impetuousness, called upon for a greater purpose, and asked to rise above it—to be what God knew she was?
In all of this do you think she realized—before it happened—that she was making possible the redemptive future of all mankind? That her as a vessel held our greatest hope in life and over death?
Today I am thinking of Mary. I can’t stop thinking about her.
I think about how sometimes we don’t really want our blessings to be hard. We want our trials to be confined to one part (the lesser part) and our blessings to be easy. But when has this ever been the case? Aren’t blessings and hardships one and the same?
Today I am thinking about good, good Mary. And her sweaty brow, and her heaving, round hulk—that contracted and hardened, that quickened unrelenting. I’m thinking of that final moment before the final push: the ecstasy and the agony. The beauty and the burn. That feeling of impossibility; that feeling of supreme accomplishment; that happening; that ultimate release.
I am thinking of glory after anguish, and pleasure and pain, and virtue and vice, and light after what may seem dark. And I’m thinking about a star that shined on.