Today, we get to hear a little bit more about Mary from my old/new friend Nina Simone. I’ve known Nina most of my life, but she was a few years older than me, so our circles didn’t overlap much. But, I quickly became an avid “blog stalker” when I stumbled upon her blog a few years ago, because anyone who’s been there knows it’s amazing!
Then one fateful day, I decided to publicly come forward as a follower and leave a comment. The result? A new blog friendship was formed! We now email, leave blog comments, and catch up at the occasional wedding or women’s conference. Blog friends are also great to have, because when you’re recruiting guest posters, they’re some of the first you call on!
I’m beyond thrilled to welcome Nina today. Her blog, her heart, and her writing inspire me daily. Enjoy!!
I saw something new in the old, old story this year.
“I am the Lord’s servant, “Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her. At that time, Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. (Luke 1:38-40)
Mary, receives the BIGGEST, MOST SURPRISING, MOST TERRIFYING announcement. She pushes aside fear and welcomes it. She is obedient and humble and joyous and everything we revere her for, everything we want to be.
And then she takes off for the hills. Literally.
Because, when Mary receives this astounding announcement, she is told that there is another woman who also houses a miracle and promise within her body. Up in the hills, related to her, lives someone else who understands that this story looms bigger than what she understands.
So Mary runs to her.
And, I can just imagine, Elizabeth, up there in her House in the Hills, already waiting with the back door open for sweet, overwhelmed. hormonal Mary to come barreling inside.
And they embrace. And they weep. And they gush. There are lots of hand gestures, some gasps, laughter, and non-awkward silences. And they carry on like this for three months. I believe they ate chocolate, and Stacy’s Pita Chips.
I don’t know how Mary did it. How did a woman hurry in 9 months B.C.? Was this her inaugural donkey ride? Or did she, full of adrenaline, and first trimester nausea, JUST RUN?
I don’t know how she did it. But I think I know why. And that part of me that sings FEMALE, she really thinks she knows why. (And she totally gets that three months may not have been long enough.)
And I am not a scholar or a theologian. I’m just someone who reads the Bible hungry to find herself in the pages…believing that Their Story is Our Story. And this year, this season, with this Three Verse Image, I am overwhelmed by the tenderness of God. This God, who wired us for togetherness, and breathed into us a need for each other, provides. And as I look through the pages of my own story, I see all the back doors I have gone barreling through, and the kitchen tables my tears have fallen onto.
“At that time, Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country…”.
Christmas. We celebrate indwelling, God with us. There is mystery and miracle. And there is God rushing towards humanity, when we were so alone. There is so much that is beyond our comprehension.
And so much that we can understand.