All healthy parents love their children. I know that I love mine so much it hurts, and I am fiercely protective of them. My husband jokes that messing with my children is like getting between a mother bear and her cubs. Even now that most of them are adults, I still ache for them when they have to suffer through hardships. But when my first child was born, I was sure that I was going to protect him from everything harmful. This morning I am thinking about Mary. She must have felt the same way. How did she feel the first moment she saw her tiny infant? I imagine she was surprised at the softness of his skin, the perfection of each finger and toe, how tiny the fingernails! And the first time he looked into her eyes, she must have felt that same ache in her chest that told her that from that point on, she would always be slightly holding her breath. Because she was not one person anymore, she was two. That's the way it is with motherhood.
This morning I had the song "Mary Did You Know?" inside my head. Do you think she knew what her precious little baby was up against? I asked my husband that question as he wandered out into the kitchen for his first cup of coffee. "Not a clue", he said. But I think she must have had a hint. How could she not? She knew this child was born of unusual circumstance. Therefore, even though she may have wished for a normal life, which would be a natural human response, she knew in her deepest heart that God had a plan for her son. Perhaps she didn't know exactly what it was. I don't think she could even be a good mother, knowing what was in store for him. So God, in His infinite wisdom, let that slide for a while. And so, Mary nursed, snuggled, and more than likely sang to her baby those first few hours of his life. And she was a good choice for the mother of our Savior. Because when the time came for Him to step up, He was ready.