Monday, December 22, 2008

Seeing Christmas in a Different Light

I am finding that as we prepare to celebrate Christmas I am seeing the whole thing in a different light than before. Last year I wrote a couple of posts about this here and here. It is interesting how your perspective changes as life changes. I have for so long looked at the Christmas story and the immense Joy of Jesus' birth. Until last year I had never thought about what things must have been like from Mary's perspective.

A teenage girl, unmarried and pregnant. That in and of itself is frightening. That wasn't all though. God had CHOSEN Mary to carry His son. A son who would be a gift to all people, but who would ultimately suffer and die a painful death. Mary must have been in one way so honored that God had chosen her for such an important task, yet how overwelmed she must have been thinking of the magnitude of it all. After all she was human. She was a mom and she must have agonized over the idea of losing her boy.

Mary in no way felt ready to deal with any of this I am sure. I am sure she was confused and hurt and maybe even angry. Yet if we look at her prayers in the book of Luke, we know that though she did not understand she chose to praise God. She believed without a doubt that through the suffering she would endure, that God's mighty arm would bring it all around to good.

I guess I have always looked at Christmas as the joyous time, and Easter as holiday more lined with sorrow as Christ was crucified, yet now, standing where I stand, I look at the BIG picture of that story and though each of these hoildays are cause for celebration, I see more and more how suffering was necessary to bring blessing and though the birth of Jesus gives us great reason to rejoice, it also reminds me that sometimes the path we are chosen for is really tough, but God's mighty arm will always bring it around for our good.

I know last year I found it difficult to get into the Christmas spirit. I did not feel like celebrating as I had just received news that Asher (Happy) was not well. It has helped me to really fully celebrate Christmas by looking at the BIG picture, not just the joyous birth of Jesus, but the suffering that had to be endured for each of us to receive the best gift we could ever imagine. It helps me to remember that sometimes our greatest gifts come in packages we would never have chosen.

This time of year is hard. It is hard because two of my boys are not here to celebrate. There is a void in this family. The absence of Isaac and Asher in this home is so evident, but even though they are not physically with us, their gift remains. They have changed us from the inside out. We live life differently, we love differently, and we see the world differently. With all of that, we see Christmas differently. We can relate with Mary. We cannot know her pain, but we know we are not alone in ours.

My favorite Christmas song is Breath of Heaven, Mary's song. Each time I listen to the words of that song the tears begin to flow. I am certainly no Mary, but I relate. I encourage you all to take the time to look at Mary's prayer at a difficult time in her life, the Magnificat and I encourage you to go to my playlist at the bottom of this blog and play Breath of Heaven. I am in awe of Mary and though she likely did not know why of all people God chose her for this, she carried the cross she was given with incredible grace, praising God all the way!


Carla said...

Thankyou for sharing your thoughts on Mary. It is funny how your perspective on pretty much everything shifts once you loose a child.

Laurie in Ca. said...

This is beautiful Kristy. My mind has been looking at Mary's human side alot this season too. I posted something about it a few days back but not as good as you have written it here. I think I was in a grandma's perspective.:) I have been really thinking about all you girls so much this season, and praying for wonderful blessings on all of you and your families. I have learned so much from all of you this past year and I am grateful and blessed. Have a wonderful Christmas Sweetie!!

Love and Hugs, Laurie