March 23, 2015


What will the emotional reunion of Mary and Jesus be like at the Second Coming? Mother and Son; servant and Savior; humbled and heavenly. Have you ever thought about it?

Will Mary bubble over in tears of joy at seeing her Son again? Will Jesus bubble over in tears of celebration bringing her home? When Mary sees Jesus for the first time coming through the clouds of heaven, what passion will explode within her very soul? Will it be anything compared with the passion in His? I often wonder what it was like being Mary. I often hope I’m standing next to her when she beholds Jesus again.

Like many women, I well remember the afternoon it was finally time to go to the hospital for the birth of my baby. Labor pains were hard, and timely enough to be clocked. The family had made the trip; my body had made the journey. My daughter was on her way. I don’t remember much of the drive to the hospital except one brief exchange between my husband and me. “Honey, do you want me to go slow since you’re in pain, or fast so we get there sooner?”31 1 9 3

“Burn rubber!” was my reply.

Once at the hospital, I was told to get in the wheelchair and we’d be off to the delivery room. A fetal monitor was strapped on to my stomach, an oxygen mask placed over my mouth and nose, and a hospital gown traded places with my maternity jeans. Four furious hours later, with my trusted doctor directing events and my beloved husband counting off the pushes, I met my daughter for the first time.

With tears in my eyes and sweat on my forehead, the nurses placed her in my arms. She was so beautiful. I never wanted to let her go. I wanted to hold her forever and promise she’d never get a scratch on her knees, or her heart. I had become a mother.

I think of Mary. I think of her face and hands, her emotions and circumstances. I think of her bravery. My story would have been much different if my husband had rushed to my laboring side telling me the family donkey was saddled and ready to make the trek across the mountains and desert. My story would have been much different if the hospital had said, “We’re all out of doctors, beds, and birthing rooms; take your pain to the dog kennel down the street.” My story would have been much different if the staff directing the course of delivery were sheep and cattle, and the dirty hay my delivery bed.

My story was far different than Mary’s. And if you couldn’t add in a speeding automobile, trained hospital, and trusted doctor to Mary’s story, hers would still be vastly different and vastly better. Mary bore the Savior in a stable. She was the first to meet Jesus. She was the first to hold Jesus. She was the first to behold Jesus.

I love Mary’s labor story. It’s a wealth of grit for a wealth of grace. What greater moment could a woman ever have than to hold salvation for the first time after such a trek? She must have wanted to hold it forever and never let go.

Would that we want to hold it forever and never let go. Mary didn’t get to the stable without a journey. She didn’t experience pain without the result of beholding Jesus. Neither will we.

Don’t give up the trek toward the stable. For there will come a moment we’ll come full circle, joining hands with Mary as she beholds Jesus again, and the story of salvation will be finished. To put it in her own words: “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19).