04
Dec
08

She Didn’t Even Hesitate

 

As I was driving home tonight after hanging out with some friends, I was thinking about how the last year and a half has been a struggle in so many ways. I’ve wrestled with Abba through my various issues, but He is giving me victory in areas that I never thought possible. It’s Him…it’s all Him. More than ever before, the frantic prayers I’ve cried out again and again over the last year have been “Help me, help me, help me.” 

 

But late tonight, as I drove to the top of my hill in the rain and saw the lights of Nashville, my prayer changed to “Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you for stripping away everything that was comfortable. Thank you for lovingly placing me in this city, even though I’m still struggling to figure out how the interstates intersect with each other. Thank you for the struggles. But thank you most of all for letting me see You.”

 

Right now, Jeff and I are in the middle of what a lot of people think is a horrible mess with our work/school situation, because as so many non-profits are struggling financially, so is Pioneer (see “Does Jesus Care About a School?”), but I’m beginning to see the sun shining through the clouds in small rays…rays that stream all the way from the sky down to the earth, the way I imagine it will be when Jesus comes back to take His own away to be with Him forever. And that gives me hope, not hope in a school or in a church or in someone giving a large amount of money but a renewed hope in Christ, that He is with us in the middle of this “wonderful mess” and that He is at work but maybe not in the way that we think, and that that’s ok too.

 

Lately, I’ve been smacked in the face with how comfortable I want my life to be…And convicted that I get so easily agitated when things don’t go the way I think they should. I don’t think Jesus called me to live a comfortable life. Which brings me to Mary…Because her life was anything but comfortable. I’ve been rather in awe of her lately. Not worship, of course, just awe.

 

In one short meeting with the angel Gabriel, Mary was told that she, who had kept herself from having sex before marriage, was going to have a baby. And her only question was, “But how? I’ve never slept with a man.” 

 

Denise Levertov says it best when she writes this about Mary,

 

                       “She did not cry, ‘I cannot, I am not worthy,’

                                                               Nor, ‘I have not the strength.’

                        She did not submit with gritted teeth,

                                                               Raging, coerced.

                         Bravest of all humans,

                                                     Consent illumined her.”

 

 

As Anne Lamott says, “This is so, so not me.”

 

Mary clearly didn’t have the victim status that I drag along behind me in a rather large suitcase and am ready to open and share every opportunity I get. Mary did not rage and fling things across the room and worry about how everyone would think she’d already had sex. She didn’t seem to worry that there would be those women whispering behind her back. She also didn’t seem to worry that Joseph would be angry and would think she’d been fooling around on him. As a young teenage, Jewish peasant girl, the repercussions of being pregnant out of wedlock were huge.

 

I think if it had been me, I might have asked for a few days to think about it and throw out a few fleeces, just to make sure this whole pregnancy thing was actually God’s will. But, no, Mary immediately responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.”  And God graced her with Himself, because that’s what He does. And somehow, Mary saw beyond her confusion and her fear and realized how blessed she would be to carry her own Savior…Consent truly illumined her.

 

Many times, I think we have this unrealistic view of Jesus’ birth, and we sing pretty little songs about how the “Virgin Mary had a Baby Boy.”  I’ve been listening a lot to Andrew Peterson’s CD “Behold the Lamb of God.” On it is a song entitled, “Labor of Love.” The song is a vivid picture of Mary giving birth. It’s not the cleaned up version of Mary having baby Jesus, but a rather authentic one, where there is pain and blood and neediness…but there is also God. 

 

So, this Christmas season, as we celebrate Jesus’ birth, I’m also thanking Abba for that teenage girl and her brave response to an angel over 2,000 years ago, to give birth to Emmanuel…God with us…He really is here. 

 

 

 

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3 Responses to “She Didn’t Even Hesitate”


  1. 1 Christy
    December 4, 2008 at 6:19 am

    Once again, Kim, your words have given me inspiration. I have never thought about Mary this way before. Thanks. Also, I wanted to tell you how 2 weeks ago, I was praying and it seemed all I could do was say “Help me!”. But then, last week, my prayer was “Thank you!” So, thank YOU for continuing sharing.

  2. December 4, 2008 at 7:30 am

    Kim, seriously you make me cry every time! Can’t wait until the Lord has you write a book…. thanks for helping me to remember what this season is about.

  3. December 15, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    Hey Kim,

    Great blog!

    Want to link up? http://TheEvolutionofGod.wordpress.com

    talk to u soon!

    tim


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