Her touch is soft and gentle. Her song is reassuring and comforting. Outward adornments of jewelry and fine clothes only detract from her true beauty. Her value has no limits – a true reckoning cannot be determined. Her patience produces loving correction and her words are never meant to be harsh even if we occasionally believe they are. She endures heartache, pain and disappointments with no sign of retreating. Should the hurt overwhelm her, she gathers courage from a serious examination of who she is and why she was created.
She is forever devoted even to those who should be so foolish as to reject her love. She is adorned in a coat of forgiveness and it never shows signs of wear; it never needs a patch, it is never set aside. Rejection is painful for her but it generates determination. She is driven by hopes and dreams, not for her, but for those in her care. She believes they are achievable and she prays daily they will come true.
She is a mother, created and equipped by God for a unique and important task. It’s a task only she can master and she does so with little or no training. She is appreciated and loved, but never enough. There is a lack of genuine empathy from most because we must walk in her shoes to truly know her. So we do our best to show her what she means to us. One day a year is hardly enough, but she is thankful even if the attention is brief. Her gratitude is visible in a sincere smile and a tear or two that appear and are quickly wiped away. Those tears come from a treasure chest of wonderful memories she tucked away. She brings them out from time to time and as she reflects on them her heart swells with pride as she recalls the things we accomplished and sighs as she blames herself for the things we didn’t.
In the Gospel of Luke, the physician provides us with a story of the birth of Jesus none of the other gospel writers included. When the shepherds came to see what the angels had revealed to them, Luke tells us Mary treasured up the things she saw and thought of them often. Perhaps Luke knew this from talking with Mary or perhaps it was revealed to him by God. While Mary may not have fully realized how blessed the world would be because of this child, she fully realized what it meant to be a mother. We are thankful that Luke challenged a culture that devalued women and showed us the heart of Mary, a young mother beginning a journey filled with wonder and amazement, love and devotion.
God has blessed us with His gift of grace and mercy and while we would like to know more about Jesus as a child and Mary His mother, we only know this: God chose a mother to introduce salvation to the world. I guess that’s all we really need to know.