The book pens a journey with Mary, the mother of Jesus, as a framework for pondering life lessons, or songs, of grace-filled "yes" to God.

This blog continues to explore the implications of these songs in daily life. Here you will find ten additional reflections on each of Mary's "songs." May they continue to encourage your heart. ~Carla

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thankfulness on Deposit

So….I’m supposed to take a deep breath, count my many blessings, and feel thankful, right?  But what if I don’t?  What if I’ve just lost a loved one or a job or a friend, and my heart aches...or is numb?  What then?  Do I just put on my plastic smile and pretend?

Mary, Joseph and Jesus were celebrating Passover, certainly a kind of Thanksgiving as they remembered their deliverance from their oppressors.  But if they had been feeling thankful, it was quickly lost under the “great distress” of trying to find a twelve-year-old son who had other plans than a trip home.

I marvel at much in this passage: the simultaneous hunger and wisdom of this twelve-year-old Jesus. The amazement of the crowds that must surely have strained to hear the conversation.  But I ache with Mary and Joseph at their exchange over his extraordinary disappearance.  “Your father and I have been searching for you.” “Did you not know I must be in my Father’s house?”

This must surely have been a moment of pain for this son’s mother and step-father.  Oddly, the very deliverance they had anticipated in their Passover celebration is standing in front of them, taking one more clear step on the road to his destiny. Yet I doubt his response invoked immediate feelings of thankfulness on the part of his parents.

But here is what I find most moving. The Scripture tells us that Mary’s response to this distressing moment is precisely the same one she had when the shepherds had come crowding into a stable so many years earlier.  She “treasured up all these things.” 

And here, I submit, is a key from Mary on the Thanksgivings when the right “feelings” are eluding me.  I can place thanksgiving on deposit.  I “treasure up” my questions, my journey-in-progress, my losses along the way, and I hold them close as something precious in the process of a re-creation I cannot fathom in this particular moment…but will understand, likely with gratitude, someday.  For this same son whispers to Mary and to me what he will one day shout: “Behold, I make all things new.”

1 comment:

  1. Psalm 138:first verse- I will praise Thee, O Lord, with all my heart
    Psalm 138:last verse - The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me...Thou wilt not drop the work Thou hast begun!
    "Think of that. It means the question is not: will I hold out to the end? Will I keep on with God to the end of the road? No...not that. But this: Will God keep on with me? And that is not a question - it is a certainty.
    ...that is the crown of thanksgiving." -James Stewart, "Thanksgiving: Theme with Variations"
    You and Rev. Stewart think a lot the same. : - )