It’s Christmas Eve and the world is waiting for the prime rib to be done and the candles to be lit and the children to nestle in their beds.
Most importantly, we are waiting on the Christ child.
And in these last hours before his birth, and before the world rejoices, I can’t help but think of Mary.
Two thousand years and two different cultures separate Mary and I. But both of us gave birth to baby boys, and because of this I feel a connection to her in a way I haven’t before.
Today I remember the days leading up to Owen’s birth; how big I felt, how hard it was to stand and sit and roll over. I think about my urge to nest and launder and clean and prepare. I think about how Jonathan called several times each day just to make sure he didn’t need to come get me. I think about how labor was so painful, so primal, so empowering, so scary.
And then I start to think about Mary—how uncomfortable she must have been riding a donkey for hours and hours, and how she probably wanted to nest but didn’t even have a home to clean or blankets to launder. I think about how panic might have set in when she realized HE was coming, and I think about her panting and writhing and enduring the biggest moment of her life without the comfort and help I had during my own son’s birth.
How long did she labor and was it back labor and did she breathe calmly or scream loudly? Was Joseph there when Jesus emerged of did he pace outside the stable? Were there midwives? I wonder what she thought upon gazing into Jesus’ face? Did she cry or did she laugh in amazement? Did he resemble her maybe a tiny bit? Did she even look for a resemblance?
There is one thing I think I know for sure. When the shepherds came, dirty and smelly, the most unlikely of first guests, she said the same things I did when our friends arrived at the hospital.
“Isn’t he amazing?’
“Isn’t he beautiful?”
Oh come let us adore Him.