I’m a Protestant so I don’t spend much time thinking about Mary. Christmas and Easter pretty much cover it. However, that’s changed recently, mainly because I am now heavily pregnant, 34 weeks to be precise.
I’ve been thinking about her for 2 reasons – firstly, I am finding it increasingly difficult to get around and secondly until recently we didn’t have a house lined up to live in at the time of the birth. Don’t worry I’m not saying we were going to be on the street, just that we are still living in my parents’ spare room and house sitting for them. All our stuff is in boxes and we have been redirecting mail for about a year. We thought it would be ok as we would buy a house before the baby as born, but that recently fell through. I haven’t been able to sort out a room for the baby, all the stuff for is in bags or odd places round the house, while my friends are decorating pretty rooms in pastel colours and coordinating ranges. We have a house to rent now – moving in 7 days before I’m due! But it’s left me incredibly unsettled. It’s not like me to let something like this really unsettle me, but this isn’t rational, it’s instinctive. I need to get things sorted.
Now imagine desperately wanting to arrange everything for your first child but actually having to travel 80 miles away, not even knowing if there will be a room at the end of it.
I found that rather humbling.
Then we come to the first issue I mentioned. Being heavily pregnant really slows you down! Everything is an effort, moving at any kind of speed for very long makes you exhausted, not to mention that there are all kinds of other aches and pains going on in your legs, your back etc (note – do get up for pregnant women on public transport, they’re not just lazy, they’re probably in some kind of pain!). Now I transpose my slow uncomfortable wanderings down Tottenham Court Road to sitting on a donkey travelling along a rough road for 80 miles, a journey which would have taken 2 days – a week.
Mary get’s put on a pedestal, held up as an example of womanhood or unbelievable acceptance of God’s will. We aren’t encouraged to think about her humanity much, or anyone in the Bible’s humanity much. This pregnancy has helped me to see her in a different light.