It feels odd to continue blogging about ordinary things in light of the fact that parents are burying their children, and others are mourning lost loved ones in Connecticut. If there is anything to learn from this horrific massacre, I feel an urgency to keep bringing truth to the light–whether it is scripture or people’s stories of beauty from brokenness– we must keep discussing truth and allow it to shine in the darkness, and in our own tiny way, honor the lives lost at Sandy Hook.
I know this sounds so simple in light of the enormity of this tragedy, but I am offering these words on Mary’s song as a prayer for those families, as a memorial for those fallen Sandy Hook Heroes and the little lives they tried to protect.
Mary’s Song: Luke 1:46-55
And Mary said, “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. For he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed for the Mighty One has done great things for meâ€”Holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear him from generation to generation. He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts, He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever even as he said to our fathers.
If you missed part one, you can find it here.
We learned that Mary is praising God for breaking His silence.
Mary is also praising God because He noticed her.
Mary sings in verse 46, â€œMy soul glorifies the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior! For, He has been mindful of the humble state of his servant and from now on all generations will call me blessed.â€
That word â€œmindfulâ€ is a funny little word in Greekâ€“epiblepo. Which simply means to see and notice.
God sees, He notices, and cares for, those who are humble, those who are hurting, those who are little in otherâ€™s eyes, those who need Him most.
We might not want to admit it. But, we all want to be noticed on some level. Hey, Iâ€™m a stay-at-home mom and I would love if my family noticed every single thing I did throughout the day. Kevin would probably like if I noticed everything he does for our family.
If you are a woman in the work force, you probably donâ€™t get noticed for all of your sacrifices. If you are a single woman living a life of integrity, you may not be getting noticed like you deserve to be. If youâ€™re in school, there is a longing in you to be noticed. Whatever stage of life we’re in, this is a human desireâ€¦
One time, I had an 85-year-old woman tell me, “I feel like Iâ€™m still 16 years old on the inside. I wish I got noticed like I did back then.”
Even my kids, when I am not paying enough attention to them, will either physically turn my face towards them, or theyâ€™ll yell, MOM LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME! (Sometimes, I wish I could do that.)
I confess that I watched the Gossip Girl series finale last night. (No judging) The show is a total guilty pleasure. This is a spoiler alert if you haven’t seen it (or care), but the series ended on the premise that the outsider of the show, “lonely boy” did whatever he could to be noticed and included by the elite socialite starlets in his life. It’s a silly show, definitely not a moral-of-the-story ending, but it was sad in a way. Even the writers of GG realized that one of our deepest human longings is to be noticed.
I think we generally have two views of God: 1)That he is either so distant from us that He is doesnâ€™t notice us. He is only in cathedrals with stained glass windows or 2) The other view of God is to minimize him, so that he is nothing but our little buddy. I heard a pastor say once that Godâ€™s just doing this best He can in this world. As if God is a toddler that just needs our encouragement.
But, God is not distant and he is not our plaything.
Psalm 138:6 says, “Though the Lord is on high, he looks down on the lowly.”
He is High, Holy, and Just, and at the same time, He is a loving and personal friend. God knows every hair on your head, He knows your frame, He knows what you are going through and He cares about every minor detail of your day. Thatâ€™s why He is referred to as Emmanuel– God with us– because He is both God, and at the birth of Jesus..is with us.
You may feel like no one really sees you, no one really knows what you are going through. But, God notices.
The fact that the God of the universe has looked down and noticed this young, no-status woman, Mary, she feels blessed and she is praising Him!
And I mean really, here we are thousands of years later, still talking about her.
God, you don’t have to prove anything to us–you are God.
But, we are shaken and confused and angry and deeply saddened.
We need you to prove that your word is true.
We need you to be both High and Holy and also, With Us.
Would you be with the bereft in Connecticut?
Would you please step in and do something to ease their pain?
To honor the memories of lost lives?
Would you help us as a nation, as families, and as individuals
to know how you want us to respond?
Help us to love each other deeply and be safe places for one another in the days to come.
As we think about advent, we know that there is both good and evil in this world.
We think about the precious innocent lives lost in Connecticut,
and we think of children all over the world
who are enslaved, trafficked, raped, and murdered by forces of evil.
We don’t have the right words, so we beg you–
please shine your light in this darkness–and overcome it.
Part three later this week.