Treasures and Memories
“And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.” Luke’s portrayal of the very, very young mother is very interesting. Imagine all that she has been through! Not at all the kind of pregnancy and birth that most women experience. Luke portrays her as not having all the answers but continuing to possess an openness to God. She not only pays attention. She keeps or treasures her experience and reflects on it in her heart.
When I was born, someone gifted my mother with a Baby Book that documented all my “firsts.” My first visitor at the hospital was not my dad, but my grandfather. Daddy was busy milking the cows while Mom was in labor. Grandpa brought the “good news” of my birth. As Grandpa told the story, Dad, coming from a family of four brothers, visibly sighed and looked disappointed when he learned his first-born was a girl! My first “trip” was to the dairy barn. Mom always worked side by side with my dad, so that meant that as soon as she was physically able, she joined him in the dairy barn and so did I. Yes, all of this is in my Baby Book, a book that occupied space in my mother’s cedar chest among photos, birth certificates, sacramental records, and report cards.
I am not sure how much my mother treasured her experience of mothering for the first time. The one who has reflected on her experience is me. Because I was the first of seven children, and because we lived just a field away from Grandpa Kruppa, I enjoyed a close relationship with him. He “pitched in” not only at the time of my birth but also in taking us to sports practices and events, swimming lessons, catechism, and church. I learned a life lesson of “seeing what needs to be done and doing it” from him. I also learned what it means to “work together” from both my parents and grandparents. To this day, I enjoy being part of a group effort!
How about you? What is one of your treasured memories, something you keep and reflect on in your heart? How is it a memory of God?
And let’s not forget about those shepherds, the first visitors! They were among the outcasts of their day. Yet God chose them to announce the birth of the Christ. Be mindful of the outcasts you run into during your day, and pay attention to what they may be announcing to you about the ways of God.
Some of you may remember the TV series, Joan of Arcadia (2000-2003). The theme song, “What if God was one of us?” ran through every episode. Remember how Joan encountered God in the most ordinary of people? The ones we might least expect, like the school janitor? Or the grocery bagger?
Treasures and ponderings! Seeking and finding God and coming to understand God’s ways and God’s purposes for us in life!