Monday, December 12, 2011
Through the Eyes of a Mother
My view of the Christmas story has been enriched by the fact that I've had children--three to be exact. It helps me relate better to several things.
In the Book of Mormon, the Christmas story is from another view point--from the American Continent. There was a prophesy about Christ's birth in Jeruselem, and the believers were continually ridiculed by the non-believers. (See 3 Nephi Chapter 1 at LDS.org) As the time of the prophesy drew closer, the ridicule turned to threats, as the non-believers threatened to put to death those who believed, if the prophesy was not fulfilled.
Now, as a mother, I picture those believing mothers, heartbroken and terrified for their families, but knowing what they believed. I picture those mothers praying so hard to know what to do, how to protect their little ones. It is heart-wrenching in that context.
The sign, of course, came, and they knew that Christ had been born in Jerusalem. I can only imagine the overwhelming relief of those mothers, the prayers of gratitude!
Meanwhile, in Jerusalem, the Promised Messiah truly had been born. His mother was Mary, to whom the Bible refers as "highly favoured" and "blessed among women." (See Luke chapter 1)
The young, gentle Mary must have been stunned to know that she'd bare the Son of God, but she meekly accepted: "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word."
I don't know what Mary expected from that point on, but I know that I might have expected better accommodations to give birth to the Son of God. But of course I am not Mary. But I feel for her, nine months pregnant, traveling on the back of a donkey 90 or more miles. (See "The Peace and Joy of Knowing the Savior Lives.")
Now here's the part where my motherhood gives me insight. It is so uncomfortable to be nine months pregnant!! It is uncomfortable to be lying in a soft bed that far along! I almost cry when I picture her, so pregnant, so LONG on the back of a donkey. Oh, I ache just thinking about it! I wonder if it ever entered her mind during what must have been a several day trip, "I didn't think it would be like this."
And then to not find room at the inn, to have to give birth in the middle of animals, and lay Him--the Son of God--in a manger. I wonder if it surprised her to find herself in that situation. It is so hard and painful to give birth. I sincerely can't imagine doing it in those circumstances!
Yet, I picture her, the beautiful, humble Mary, accepting the circumstances just as she accepted her calling: "Be it unto me according to thy will."
There are great lessons of humility here: the humble birth of the King of Kings, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I believe that God was showing the world that the way to be great is to be humble. I so admire Mary, so humbly accepting her calling to be His mother, and accepting all things that came with it.
I ask myself: Am I humble? Do I accept all the things the Lord will bring me through so meekly? Am I truly His servant?
I know that Christ was born in humble circumstances and now reigns in the heavens. I know that He saves, and is there for us. And I testify that His birth was prophesied in both the Bible and the Book of Mormon. Oh the beauty of the Christmas story in this mother's eyes!