And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. ~Luke 1:28 (DRA)
Before a child is born, there is a mother waiting. Preparing. Carrying.
Before a baby pierces the quiet with his first cries, there is a woman who said yes, I’ll share my body, my breath, my blood, my life to be a part of this miracle.
And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her. ~Luke 1:38 (DRA)
Before each of my children were born, there was so much anticipation. There were baby showers and preparations of the nursery. There were sleepless nights and kicked ribs and swollen everything. But as soon as the baby arrived all that was forgotten, at least for the moment.
As a mother, this was the time when I left center stage and slipped back into the wings. Everyone came to see the baby. Everyone wanted to hold the new life in their arms. They were in awe of the child and still are. That’s how it is. That’s how it should be.
I think about this every time we celebrate birthdays. How the whole point is the amazing, precious child. That’s how it should be. But every now and then, do you notice her? Behind all the balloons, and the pile of presents, and the cake. Sometimes she fades into the background of all the noise and the games and the singing. But you might catch a glimpse. She’s the one quietly picking up after all of us, writing down a list of gifts for thank you notes, making sure everything runs smoothly. She’s the one who was waiting for this moment. Preparing the party. Carrying it all.
She’s the one whose life changed forever on this day however many years ago.
She’s the one whose eyes are brimming with tears, watching her child become someone amazing seemingly overnight.
She’s the one who said yes, I’ll share my body, my breath, my blood, my life to be a part of this miracle.
We’re approaching the most significant birthday in the history of the world. He is the greatest gift we’ve ever received. We are preparing to celebrate with carols, and presents, and decorations, and great feasts. The whole point is the amazing, precious Savior. That’s how it should be.
But I can’t help but notice her, even as she humbly prefers to slip back into the wings. I can’t help but remember that we have Him because Mary said fiat, let it be done. She dealt with the persecution that came from people who couldn’t understand. She carried Him in her womb as she traveled the rugged terrain to Bethlehem. She fled with Him to Egypt to protect him from a jealous king. She faithfully presented Him at the temple in Jerusalem. She fed Him, cared for Him, encouraged His first miracle. She followed Him all the way – watching Him grow, watching Him die, watching Him rise. I can’t help but marvel at her.
As I’m on my way to the most magnificent birthday party ever, I can’t help but whisper thank you to the Mother of God.
And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she cried out with a loud voice, and said: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. ~Luke 1:41-42 (DRA)