I have been thinking about the hard scrabble life of Mary, Jesus' mom, lately.
A teenager. An unwed mom. A scandal waiting to happen. Donkey rider. Survivor.
A refugee. A social outcast.
Beloved and highly favored by God. Believer. Visionary. Joy bearer. World changer.
Sometimes when I don't understand what is going on or when life is breaking me
down with its hard edges, I want to pull back, go into hiding and lick my wounds.
But when Mary is faced with the impossibility of presenting her fiancee with a baby
that is clearly not his and a life that is sure to be fraught with misunderstanding
and heartache, she throws back her head.....and sings.
She sings about how good God is...about how He is mighty and merciful and holy.
She sings about being blessed and about how God has done great things for her.
It seems that somehow even in the midst of the harsh realities of her life journey
she is still holding onto to hope with both hands.
With one hand on her belly and one hand in Joseph's, she knows that even
though life isn't going to be easy or pretty it is about to get good.
That God is getting ready to pierce the sky with his unshakable goodness
and pour out his love on humanity in the person of Jesus.
Light is going to crack the darkness. Wrongs are going to be righted.
Love is going to save the day.
And she is going get to be a part of it.
There is no wound licking or hiding for Mary.
She is all in.
And as I am sitting here at my kitchen table on a cold December morning
I am realizing that I want to find her song in my mouth....her hope in my heart....
her resolve in my gut.
In the face of impossible odds and tenuous circumstances,
I want to be able to throw back my head and
unleash a volley of praise into the heavens about how very good God is to me.