Today I strangely found myself free. Free of any obligation. Living in Northwest PA – we hold on to the sun as long as we can. Before we know it the grey clouds will hang in the air.
I looked outside, the sun was shining, they sky was blue, a gentle breeze was blowing. I made a big decision, a decision to hold on to summer — with one last trip to the lake.
I loaded up my car with my beach chair, beach blanket, sunglasses, sunscreen (hence a little brush with skin cancer this year), my beach bag filled with my Bible, Notebook and a neat little book I am reading — it truly is a gem!
What better way to spend an afternoon.
The beach was closed and empty. The lake was quiet, just a few fisherman trolling around in their boats. Even the seagulls looked a tad lonely, though they quickly found their seats next to me.
I have been portraying or teaching several different women of the Bible over the past few weeks… my mind and my time was full. Here I found myself with nothing on my mind, nothing in the works. Just me, my thoughts, my Bible and this book…
As I read, examples of the Christmas Story filled the pages and Mary began to stir in my heart and mind. I want to be honest, the Christmas Season is the last thing I want to think about. I am trying to avoid it with all that is in me. Our family is going to be missing one this Christmas – our Josh will be celebrating Christmas alone in Japan, a land where most, 98% do not know Jesus as their Savior. That just about breaks a mama’s heart. I’m sure I will trudge through – why is it that a mama’s thoughts are always with the one who is missing.
The Author, Stephen Chapin Garner, begins to state questions about the Saviors birth from Joseph’s standpoint. I begin to think of questions from Mary’s …
Did she ever have doubts?
Was she afraid?
What had been her hopes and dreams for her life?
How was she treated by others, once they found out she was with child and not married?
What was she thinking as she gave birth, with only her new husband to help?
What was going through her mind when the Shepherds showed up?
And so many more….
I have portrayed Mary before – but today I have been challenged to look longer and go deeper into her life, the life of her Son, My Savior, Jesus.
As I sat on that quiet, but gloriously sunny, beach today. I heard the words of the Father speak to my spirit. Prepare Mary – Salvation is at hand.
And so I will, I will listen and obey. While I am holding on to summer – I will think about the Christmas Season I was trying so hard to avoid.
I will pray, prepare and search the heart ponderings of Mary. The only person who was present with Jesus from His birth, to his death, to his resurrection. That her voice will be heard, heralding the message of salvation for all to hear… to the ends of the earth… even to Japan.