“Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.”
This is Mary.
Well, it’s a lily that reminds me of her. Same thing, right?
This lily is beautiful. She is classy, but she doesn’t flaunt herself. Rather, she bends, graceful, as though in prayer.
It is strength, not weakness, that bows her head. She has just received amazing news – she’s about to become a mother. The mother of the Messiah, no less! A messenger from heaven itself has dazzled her with his brilliance and power.
She knows she’s about to become a social pariah.
How will she tell Joseph?
Explain to her parents?
Fear rises, a knot in her stomach.
All these thoughts flash through her heart and mind like wispy northern lights. And then she decides.
She freaks out. Stomps around and demands a better deal. Negotiates for a better contract. Whines. Throws in the towel. Kicks a camel.
Except she doesn’t.
She bows her head in complete surrender, knowing the consequences and hardships that already stand in her way, and answers in perfect dignity and grace – yes.
Because she belongs to her God, and trusts what He is doing in her life, she says yes.
A globe thistle.
Stiff. Prickly. Wanting my way.
Definitely and distinctly un-Mary like.
I don’t take what God gives me gracefully. Well, that’s not entirely true. I love taking the good stuff – the beautiful, the calm, the easy, the bits I like and approve of.
It’s the tough stuff I reject. I buck. I snort and whine and mope. I’d kick a camel, but they seem to be scarce in these parts. I push back and deny and complain – until I eventually get it through my thick head that God is wanting to do something in me, through me. If I’ll let him.
And then, I remember.
I remember that God is good. That life is a gift. That I have so much to learn, so much to experience, so much transforming to do until I have the Mary response.
I bow my head.
It’s not much.
But it is step one of becoming Mary.
Become a little more like Mary with me?
Father, You chose a young girl so long ago for the privilege and hardship of bearing Your Son. You also choose us – and challenge us, and bless us along the way. Remind us that Your choices come with both hardships and blessings – and that our best response is to bow in trust, and be more like Mary. Amen.