I’m catching a mid-morning flight and trying to leave the house quietly. But my daughter is up to say goodbye.
She’s always been an early riser, but I’m still surprised to see her standing there in her pajamas, her blond hair a tousled mess.
“Honey, you should be asleep.”
She turns her head ‘No’ and whispers while moving in to hug me tightly.
“Did you leave Daddy a schedule?”
“Ok. But who’s driving me to dance?…What is the plan for tomorrow?…Did you remember to tell Dad about…?”
She has a list in her head.
Just like me.
Maybe that’s not a good thing.
See – the list making – the idea that we can finalize plans, has become for me an extension of my perfectionism – something I do not want to pass on to her. Having a few ideas about what I’d like to do is one thing. Expecting them to happen just as I’d like, is another.
I want to tell her to relax. Enjoy. Don’t anticipate.
But it’s hard to convey these things effectively. And there are even bigger things that I must teach her. Things I believe are essential for her to understand.
If all of Scripture could be boiled down to two central messages, they’d be: 1) Be not afraid. 2) You are loved.
More than anything else, these are the things I want my daughter to know. And sometimes I worry she isn’t getting these messages.
‘But maybe she’ll see,’ I think. How can I help her see?
These were my thoughts in Bible study Thursday night, where we were discussing Jesus’s mother, Mary – the one person in history other than Christ himself who best exemplifies a person exercising full trust in God’s providential care.
To the root of her being, Mary was humble and put her faith in God. She had no silly notions that she was in charge of her life. As the angel told her that she would bear God’s son, she declared herself “the handmaid of the Lord” (Luke 1:38). Her ‘yes’ – given despite the questions she had – showed she accepted the full weight of His authority, love, and protection. From within that sacred space, she then assumed her role in God’s plan and prayed from her deepest depths, “My soul magnifies the Lord.” (Luke 1:46)
Mary’s life was anything but easy, and it’s impossible to overstate how agonizing it must have been for her to watch her son die on a cross. But everything we know about Mary leads us to this conclusion: in the role that God chose for her, Mary was fully cooperative, and God used her as His instrument to point others to Christ – to Himself.
Not surprisingly perhaps, Mary’s last words in the Bible, concerning Jesus at the wedding feast in Cana, are to the servants – and all of us – “Whatever He says to you, do it.” (John 2:5)
We too can magnify God – make He who is invisible, visible – by fully leaning into Him and asking Him to fill us with His love. Then, His love flows into our words. And into our actions.
Lord, I thank you for your mother, Mary. I ask that you make me more like her, and that Your Will be done in me. Make me a vessel that magnifies your Love, projecting Your radiance to my beloved daughter.