Consider Mary; young, outcast, weary of nine months of whispers as she passed the other women rather than motherly advice from her elders. Did the hormonal swings make her think she was crazy? With no book, What to Expect when Expecting to guide her, she prepared for her baby and our king. Did she know how to count the weeks and months until the birth? In her third trimester did she understand Braxton Hicks contractions? Joseph had come back ready to love her through this, did she wonder if he would change his mind? Knowing they would be traveling to Bethlehem, did she do any “nesting” like most mothers, preparing space and blankets for wrapping her new born?
Each year at Christmas as a mother, I am drawn to Mary and her point of view. Nine months pregnant, more than likely swollen and uncomfortable riding on the back of a lumpy donkey, did she weep with fear of giving birth?
Or in her discomfort, fear and pain, did the God who chose her, carry her. Did she find peace in the silence and feel His strength and confidence surround her?
Jesus didn’t just feel his humanity when he was older and being tempted in the desert, even during birth the babe experienced the trauma of the birth canal and his first sounds were that of his mother’s scream during delivery. No doubt Jesus immediately felt the dramatic contrast from the warmth of a mother’s womb to the coldness of the world.
All births are miracles, if you are a mother, you can imagine Mary holding her child close to nestle him in the warmth of her arms. While we may have held our children in wonder about who this little person is and what they will be when they are grown. Mary held her son knowing his purpose but not fully understanding his impact.
Recovering from giving birth, Mary lay resting with her child snuggled close and a loving but shell-shocked Joseph trying very hard to make their surroundings more comfortable.
Taking a deep breath of contentment, the young mother, forgetting the nine-confusing months rested under the star that made the silent announcement that her son had arrived and the world would forever be changed.