How did it feel?
How did it feel to be Mary
On that dark night long ago?
The road to Bethlehem so long, so cruel
When she was near her time.
No rest, no certainty for the future.
Her only hope the words of the angel – that awesome encounter; his message
so overwhelming she’d barely been able to stand.
That was in another time now
A time when she was young and sure that she knew all that her life would be
Marrying Joseph, the babies that would come; their families mingling as one
Worship and feasts, work and play.
But now as she struggled on in the dark, stumbling over rocks and around
And when, too tired to take another step,
She slumped upon the donkey’s back desperately cradling her bump, riding
the jagging pains, the start of her time.
And as the hours wore on, the questions arose, what even would be born?
How would it look, this child of hers
This Son of God most high?
What did it feel like to be Mary on that long dark journey?
So favoured yet so alone,
Living a calling that no one else could ever share?
How had it felt to be Mary when her own betrothed believed she’d sinned,
her very family scorned her and wherever she went she heard the whispers?
How did it feel?
And how does it feel to be you or me
In those times when life seems so hard?
When we just can’t see the way ahead
And God seems a mystery?
How did it feel to be Mary as she drew near at last to Bethlehem
Tired, anxious and in pain.
Surely God would lead and open up the way?
Surely He would provide for the birth of His own Son?
But as inn after inn turned them away
And the pains grew more fierce
She saw in Joseph’s slumped shoulders and despairing eyes
He deeply he felt this too
And the cry rose in her heart,
God why? Surely it wasn’t meant to be like this?
But as they finally collapsed on the stable’s cold floor
With the animals grunting close by
And she arched and cried in the all pervading darkness,
A sudden whisper touched her
Bringing stillness deep inside
‘Rest in me’
‘I AM with you.’
And suddenly she was able to let go and be.
And as that twined moment of supreme agony and joy arrived
And she held the miracle of her obedience in her arms and kissed His downy
Suddenly, it no longer mattered if no one ever understood,
even if she herself didn’t understand.
For as she held onto God
That despite the loneliness, the uncertainty and pain
Of that long dark journey and longer night
That God held onto her.
Do you know that too?
There may be confusion, fear, darkness and loss,
But do you understand when no one knows what it means to live your life,
That you are held safe in the arms of God?
And He whispers to you as He did to Mary
Rest in me
I Am with you.’