Christmas this year felt different for me. I don’t celebrate the religious aspect of it and haven’t for years. Yup, I celebrate it as a gift-giving, Santa-coming, spend-too-much-money, holiday. But I have tried to teach my children that there is joy in giving, not just receiving, and our tree is filled with ornaments that have sentimental value. This year was different.
As the holiday drew closer, I found myself really thinking about how Mary must have felt when Gabriel came to her and set her on a path that would change everything for her. How faithful and brave she was to accept the idea of an immaculate conception, knowing it could cost her family and her life.
I thought about giving birth in a stall with animals around you. How tired she must have been. Did shepherds and wise men really come? How did it feel to know that your baby’s birth was a divine gift when you are in pain, tired, and homeless. I was in awe of her strength and trust in something greater than herself. This holiday brought much more introspection and strengthened my love for Her. I asked Her for proof that she was still with me.
Would you be surprised if I said that she indeed sent it? This was the headline for our local newspaper on Jan 3rd. My friend commented that it was a weird picture for the headline. I thought it was perfect. Just perfect.