Towards the center of the stage stood Mary. The spotlight captured small remnants of her long curly hair. She took a deep breath and looked out into the audience gracefully singing words that have since attached themselves to my heart,
"It's like a puzzle and I'm a piece of it, I know I fit but only one way. And right now, it's all a jumble but I guess you'll make it clear to me one day."
I can still hear her voice singing those words. The scene was so simple and real, the middle school director of this Christmas play had found a way to capture the hope, fear, and tension of this moment in Biblical history. I can't help but wonder what that moment must've really felt like so many years ago. For the real Mary that is. The Mary that suddenly found herself delivering the savior of the world amidst barn animals and old rags, a juxtaposition of uncanny proportions. I wonder if she questioned the scene before her. Perhaps deep within she carried some sort of sentiment that resembled,
"I thought things would look a bit different than this. IS it possible that something truly beautiful can be birthed in the midst of so much pain and uncertainty?"
The hay, the barn, the scene itself, it all must have been a bit bewildering.
I thought things would look a bit different than this. Sometimes I wonder if we all carry a piece of this sentiment within us. No one really plans to live in a world that is filled with so much injustice and brokenness, yet sometimes that is exactly where we find ourselves. In these moments I am reminded of Mary and the hope she was given in the midst of her own confusion and pain.
"And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Song of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end." Luke 1:31-33
Sometimes life doesn't pan out quite like we thought; we make mistakes, we get hurt, and all too often people leave us too early, but I think in these moments we must cling to the hope that we have been given. We must remember the nature, character, and promises of God. A God that makes beauty from brokenness. (Isaiah 61:3) A God that restores justice to the oppressed. (Isaiah 61:8) A God who turns mourning into joy. (Jeremiah 31:31) That's what He does, that's who He is. A redeemer. (Isaiah 47:4)
In the midst of life's uncertainties, pain, and heart aches I am reminded of Mary's song. It's a song of reality, a song of plea, but mostly a song of hope. Mary's song is our song,
"And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her form the Lord." Luke 1:45