Mother Mary has always been one of my favorite biblical characters. As a teen mother myself, I think about the excitement of a young girl about to bring a baby into the world – it’s an exhilarating feeling. Your young mind cannot fully grasp the magnitude of what you are about to embark on; yet you are buzzing with anticipation. I remember thinking I was going to get the chance to be a great mother; unlike my own personal experience with my parents. I was going to be attentive, loving, and show my baby how great and special he would become. The problem with teen minds, is that we have not lived long enough yet to fully understand that bringing a child into this world would cost us so much more than time and love.
Mary was not only young and unwed, but also as a virgin must have experienced a multitude of emotions. She had not prepared her mind for a child; it was thrust upon her. So, like most teen mothers, the mixture of unbelief and fear also share the space with excitement. I am sure once Mary fully grasped her reality she, too, was excited about this special child growing in her body. Yet, like most young mothers, I am sure she had no clue of the enormous about of pressure this child would place on her life.
Mary’s child, like many teen mother’s children, find themselves in social situations beyond their control. The Christ child would be despised and rejected by the world around him. He would be treated unfairly, beaten, and imprisoned. He would be loved and honored in one breath and turned against in another. He would offer hope to some and spark fear in others. I am sure many teen mothers can look back over their own child’s life and see many of these same patterns – I know I can. Maybe that is why the Mother Mary is such an important biblical character for me. I know the joy and pain that comes with raising a child in a world that loves them one day and hates them the next.
Mothers have a place in this world like no other. The ability to produce life and the responsibility of nurturing that life is all consuming. As we celebrate the Christ child this season, let’s not forget the vessel that made it possible. To the Mother Mary and all the women who have accepted the role of mother to a child, may God bless you this season with Peace, Hope and Joy.