I just turned 41. And it’s after 9:30. So, either this will be short or I’ll word vomit all over and publish with the uncertainty of it making any sense. Are you as excited as I am to see where we end up?
I recently caught a few minutes of that classic (question mark) movie, ‘there’s something about mary.’ I think it’s safe to say I enjoyed it more when it was first released. For some reason, this go-around, I couldn’t actually get through it. It could be my age (see above).
But, I can appreciate that the writers gifted me with a fitting title for today’s message.
After becoming a mom, the significance of the role Mary played in the Christmas story changed drastically for me. I guess I’d just always pictured her as that lucky young lady selected to play the role of Jesus’ mom. But after? Well, let’s just say you gain a fresh perspective on the entire experience. And then you read scripture a bit differently when Mary says things like, ‘how can this be? i’m a virgin.’ And shortly after Gabriels’ reply, Mary, without hesitation is like, ‘ok. now this actually sounds amazing. i am seriously pumped. let’s have a Savior baby!’ Obviously, I’m paraphrasing.
What I also hadn’t spent time considering was her fiancé, Joseph’s reaction during that initial conversation … ‘you what now?’. Or how she must have felt amongst the hushed whispers of people that knew they weren’t married and yet, here she was, carrying a child. That’s some Facebook-worthy drama right there!
And then, when there was no room for her to labor elsewhere, she gave birth to the Savior of the world in an animal’s dwelling place. And I’d bet that she didn’t care because, labor. And then a whole bunch of strange people just sort of showed up. Can you even imagine? This was pre-coco roro, obviously. Yet, Mary just continued to glow in the knowledge that she was highly favored. After all that … highly. favored. She was chosen to be Jesus’ mom. This wasn’t about luck. This was about a young woman of amazing faith who God saw and said, ‘yep, she’s the only one in the entire world suitable to be Jesus’ mom. she will experience the most unexplainable joy raising my Son and yet, i know that she is the only one who can handle the unfathomable heartbreak that comes with His destiny. she will wrestle it well.’
Wow. Now that’s a Mary to know something about.
There are actually a few women in scripture that carry the name and an example of a story. Remember Mary and Martha?
Let’s just say that in that story, many of us have sheepishly raised our hand saying we relate to Martha – ‘crap! i haven’t put on real pants in weeks! where are my real pants? mary! get in here!’ – but Mary, sweet Mary set the example by being present in the moment and just hanging on His every word (probably in her yoga … dress). She sought the time and the relationship and Jesus reminded Martha that’s what was most important. Note to self … Jesus endorses athleisure.
Another Mary we would do well to know something about.
But there’s this other Mary. And I saw that Facebook reported it was her birthday today and I couldn’t let this day close without making sure you knew something about her.
It’s actually really difficult to put into words because truly, there’s just something about this Mary. When I consider this Mary and those I briefly described above, I think there’s something about that name because she’s just so much like them.
This Mary is one of those sweet, sweet spirits that you can’t help but love. When she walks into a room, the air is lighter. Her smile is contagious as is her laughter. Her listening skills are on point and you feel like you might be the only person she wants to hear from in that moment. And when she speaks, you’d better listen because her words hold power. Mary also has that fun and spirited side. I mean, I can’t say I’ve seen many other women in their 60’s rock a cheerleading outfit. She actually won every award in my book with that performance. Her husband was also, for sure, not complaining. Frisky old Roger.
But, what not everyone gets to see is that inside of that giggly, light-hearted and sweet exterior is a freaking warrior. Mary is one of the strongest women I know … kinda like Jesus’ mom. I sense that she’s carried some of the heaviest weights of the world and it’s only made her stronger. I sense that in that weight of the knowing and the hurt that she also celebrates. She praises and she prays. She balances the good with the hard. She wrestles well.
And I know this because she’s been one of those people who, I felt, literally carried me through this past year (and even prior). I can’t even share here the ways Mary has loved me so unbelievably well. Just take my word for it. I also know that many of you don’t know this Mary but I’d highly suggest you consider if you already have a Mary in your life and if you don’t … to find one. Because, truly, there is something about Mary.
Happy birthday, miss Mary. And sincerely with my whole heart, thank you. You will never know just how much I want to be so much just like you.