Mary and Me

I grew up very Catholic and spent every Sunday of my childhood sitting on a hard church pew watching the Stations of the Cross go by. Through all the years and all the Masses I have had plenty of opportunities to experience Mary. Sometimes I experienced a Mary who looks like this one. Glorified, holy and unlike anyone I could ever relate to or understand. This is the kind of Mary that we would crown with many floral crowns and petition as we ticked off our Rosary beads. Mary, full of grace, mother of God.


mary-and-child2

 

Later, after I became a Christian, I saw Mary in a new light. Like so many women in scripture she has become an inspirational teacher to me. As a young mother I began to experience a Mary who looked more like this. A mom. That is someone I can most definitely relate to. 

 

I have always loved the tenderness of Luke 2:19. “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” I can relate to this Mary because in my mind she looks like this.  

                     

pregnant-belly-785494 

I can remember being pregnant with our children. I remember counting the months as my body changed and the little one hidden inside me grew and moved. There has never in my life been time when I have felt more expectant or hopeful as I did over those nine months. And as my little ones began to grow and experience life, learn new things, and explore their world I have watched and guided them recording everything they have done, pondering it all in my heart. Imagine if the son that I was loving and parenting was the Son of Man. What kinds of hopes and dreams and fears does a mother ponder in her heart when the one her nation is depending on is in turn dependent on her? Amazing love indeed!

 

Luke says something similar in Luke 2:51 “Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart” (v. 51).  I love how this passage brings me right to the place where this young family is. Feeling anxious about their 12 year old son’s growing independence. Wondering who he would become in a few short years. Pondering his gifting. Experiencing pride over a young man who is honorable and obedient to his parents. I can identify with this Mary too. She looks like this.

 

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A mom who is chasing after her boy hoping that if she catches him she might be able to keep him from growing up, at least for a little while longer. Treasuring every moment of his youth and storing it in her heart before it’s gone. 

 

I’ve read Luke a thousand times. But today as I read through the familiar nativity story I added one more image to my Mary experience. The Mary of Luke 2:4-7 a young, teen age single mom on a long journey. I had my daughter, Jocelyn when I was 17. Despite the fact that it was hardly a virgin birth, I think I can relate. It’s scary having a child before you’re married, especially when it is not well received by those around you (as I’m sure it wasn’t in her time). Yet there is something undeniably exciting and joyful about having a baby despite the difficult circumstance. This Mary, despite her age and inexperience, expertly cares for her new baby wrapping him up in all of her hopes and dreams as she places him in a crowded manager. I can identify with this Mary too. She is me.


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Share your comments on this or any verse in Luke 1-3. Tomorrow I’ll be reading Luke 4-5. 

 

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7 Comments

Filed under Bible, blog, born again, christian living, christianity, church, Evangelical, faith, God, inspiration, Jesus, Luke, Uncategorized, worship

7 responses to “Mary and Me

  1. Do you remember the scene in The Passion when Christ was carrying His cross and fell from the weight of it and when Mary saw him fall, she flashed back to a memory of when He was a toddler and he fell down while playing? It was then that I truly realized that Mary was….a mother…just like me, just like you, just like any other.

    Awsome post, Nicole.

    Annalea

  2. Beautifully done. Blessings as you continue your journey through the NT!

  3. Katy

    I didn’t grow up in a Catholic family I grew up Lutheran and while we were taught about Mary and the birth of Jesus and heard about her here and there but she was never a main focus aside from Jesus’ birth. I can’t imagine being Jesus’ mom. Every instinct you have as a parent is going to be the opposite of what God has planned for your son and then to go through it virtually alone would be difficult. I wasn’t as young as Nicole when my oldest was born but I wasn’t married and I was one of the first of my friends to have children. I am fortunate because my boyfriend and I had already planned to get married and we are still together today (14 years later) but losing my close relationships with girl friends has been a challenge even today. I can only imagine how hard it was for Mary and Joseph. I’m sure they both took their share of people turning away from them. As a parent you spend all your energy protecting your child and trying to keep them safe, Mary has to do all this knowing he is destined to sacrifice himself for us.

  4. What a sincere portrayal of Mary as you see her and yourself. I am thankful for your story and the honesty of your words. I will be passing this post to my sister who will also be blessed by them.

    Thank you so much. I am glad I paused to read your post.

    Ginger

  5. insertgracehere

    I’m so glad my sister sent me this link.

    This brought tears to my eyes. I recently wrote a post called Love Covers on my blog in which I point out how I can relate to Joseph. This followed the news of my oldest daughter’s pregnancy. Never did I imagine relating to Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus.

    Your post on Mary is so beautiful. So profound. It touched me and helped me to remember my daughter, too, must ponder so many uncertainties.

    Glad I stopped by. Hope you come by and visit.

    Rena Gunther
    insertgracehere.com

  6. Heather

    Thanks for those thoughts on Mary!
    On of the books that really helped me visualize Mary and Joseph as real people was Fourth Dawn by Bodie & Brock Thoene.
    I think the verse that stuck out to me most was Luke 3:17 when John was talking about all that Jesus was going to do, “He’s going to clean house—make a clean sweep of your lives. He’ll place everything true in its proper place before God; everything false he’ll put out with the trash to be burned.”
    Literally, I would love to have a clean house right now! What working parent wouldn’t :)
    But even more important is the state of our spiritual house. So, I think that will be my thought and prayer, for Jesus to clean my spiritual house and get things in their proper place!

  7. Such a thoughtful post…very lovely!

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