Rest on The Flight From Egypt (1597) by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio
Today is December 7. A day which for 21 years has been especially meaningful to me because it is the day my son was born.
On December 9 he will be leaving for boot camp in San Diego, California. This man-child of mine has not made being a mother easy. I’ve over protected him since the death of his father when he was only seven. I’ve cradled him as tightly to my breast as Mary does her child in this painting above. And, in two days he will be leaving my care, as he should.
I asked my friend the other night, “Does he even know what’s he’s getting into?”
Then we laughed, wondering if any of us know what we’re getting into when we begin a new path in life. Did Mary know what she was getting into when Gabriel appeared and said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.”? (Luke 1:30-31)
Did I know what I was getting into at the altar when I said, “I do”? Did I know what I was getting into when I received my degrees in education, a job so different in 1984 than what it is today? Did I know what I was getting into when I became pregnant, never fully anticipating the inevitable break my child would make into adulthood?
We can’t see our lives any farther than today. That’s probably a good thing; we are given grace sufficient for the day. (2 Corinthians 12: 9) We are not promised a life of joy, or a life of ease, or a life of peace. Like Mary, we take rest on our flight when we can get it, knowing that we are given His grace.
Do you see the wing of feathers over her shoulder in the painting? They are angel wings covering us in our exhaustion. Our fear. Our not quite knowing what we’re getting into, or what tomorrow brings. (Psalm 91: 11)
May they give you all the comfort and peace you need this Christmas.