I know, I know. It’s not my job to worry. Sometimes it’s hard for me to stay in my lane. I see the joy, the absolute rapture your word can give your children, Father, really I do. But you’ve given me the ability to also glimpse beyond the moment.
Forgive me, Lord, for letting the frailness of their humanity become a distorted lens for your greatness. Thank you for letting me be a part of your plan, and the blessing that comes with it.
28 The angel came to (Mary) and said, “Greetings! The Lord is with you; you are very special to him.”
29 But Mary was very confused about what the angel said. She wondered, “What does this mean?”
30 The angel said to her, “Don’t be afraid, Mary, because God is very pleased with you. 31 Listen! You will become pregnant and have a baby boy. You will name him Jesus…
34 Mary said to the angel, “How will this happen? I am still a virgin.”
35 The angel said to Mary, “The Holy Spirit will come to you, and the power of the Most High God will cover you. The baby will be holy and will be called the Son of God… 37 God can do anything!”
38 Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant. Let this thing you have said happen to me!” Then the angel went away.
Luke 1: 28-31, 34-35, 37-38 ERV
Our daughter, Mary, came home one weekend during the fall semester of her freshman year of college. We’d eaten supper and were hanging out when the phone rang. I don’t remember who answered the kitchen phone; it wasn’t Mary. (This was before the cell phone era began.)
The caller asked for her, and the phone was handed over. The rest of us went back to watching tv and chatting. Moments later Mary dropped the phone and began crying.
The words eventually tumbled out that one of Mary’s close friends, on that clear, dry afternoon, had been killed in a one car accident.
How does a parent respond to that?
As much as we long to, as parents, we are unable to protect our children from every disappointment, aren’t we, Dear Reader? Whether they’re two, twelve, twenty years old or much older, our gut tells us to stand in the gap between our children and the pain that threatens them.
Perhaps thinking the Angel Gabriel may have worried about the mother of Christ is a stretch. It isn’t a stretch for me to believe our Heavenly Father is concerned about His children when we are vulnerable or stray off the path He has shown us.
I love the imagery that Jeremiah gives us:
Is E′phraim my dear son? Is he my darling child?
For as often as I speak against him, I do remember him still.
Therefore my heart yearns for; I will surely have mercy on him, says the Lord.
Jeremiah 31: 20 RSV