Friday, December 5, 2014

Bearers of Christ

It's December's Random Journal Day and because of my life, I'm sitting on my bed with faithful Jamaica right beside me. From the living room, I can hear Christmas music playing and Grampie's faithful aide talking to him now and then. We weathered our own Advent of sorts in the last few months, preparing for his coming, and now we live in in the fully-realized NOW of this ninety year old man in our home, taking up space and time and energy. There's a whole host of correlations I can make to the Incarnation of God about this season for Beve, J and me, but I'll leave that for another day. For now, I'll reach into the pages of my blog, rather than old journals because I'm thinking about Advent and want to be intentional about an Advent post.

So here's one from 2012:
I was fourteen when He first came to me. Fourteen and wet  behind the ears, barely beyond the reach of childhood, not sure I was ready for what was just ahead. Responsibilities I wasn't sure I wasn't quite capable of.  Fourteen and innocent. So innocent that, unlike my more mature girlfriends, I'd backed away from relationships--even offered ones--though I'd been dreaming of them, playing make-believe about them, practicing for them my whole life.

When He came to me, He took me by surprise. Of course. How could it have been otherwise? I was going about my day, doing what was required of me, and suddenly there He was. Asking such a thing of me. Asking the world of me. The world and beyond, it seemed. In my innocence I didn't understand how it could be, but His calm, strong voice told me to trust Him.
And so I did. It wasn't as hard as you might think. If you'd been there, with Him in His glory standing in front of you, saying such things, asking such a thing, you'd know. There was no way to fall but toward Him. And so I did. "I am your handmaiden," I told Him. Just His handmaiden. No exalted place for me, when there is One such as Him doing the asking. A privilege, an honor, but a servant's privilege. "The Father will honor those who serve [Him]."

"Be it unto me," I said.
And it was.
He came into me. 
And it changed me. In an instant, though it took a bit for me to feel His presence. And then I knew. He was alive in me. And my life would never be the same. I had said Yes to Him. He would be born in me. Through me. And all the world would know. Would be changed.

So I sang. I sang glory to God. Glory, glory to God. Blessed am I!

This is, obviously, my retelling of Mary's story (with small licenses, if you'll forgive me). 
However, it's also my story in a way. I, too, was an innocent fourteen-year-old girl when He came into my life and changed it. I, too, was taken off-guard by Him, by the privilege of His coming and residing within me, and the profound change it made in my life. I, too, was humbled by His presence, though the manifestation of it, though instant, was also a process, a pregnancy, if you will.

And I think that perhaps Mary, though absolutely real and historical and as set-apart from the rest of us as the moon is from the earth, is also an archetype for each of us when He comes to us, enters into us. When our life is changed by the Holy Spirit being born in us. It is ours to bear Him, to say, "Be it unto me, I am your servant," to whatever He calls us to. It is ours to respond, "Be it unto me," in trust, in faith, with joy. Humbly believing that He will honor our calling, whatever it is. It is ours to witness to that calling but not to blow our own horns about it. And it is ours to sing His glorious praise for what He does in us. To say--with our hearts and minds and souls and strength, "Blessed am I!"

"Come to us, reside in us, O Lord, Emanuel," says the old carol, O Little Town of Bethlehem. 

And I guess that's my point.
She alone is Mary, mother of Jesus.

But we are Marys, bearers of Christ, the Holy Spirit.

Now, head over HERE to Dawn's blog, to meet my friend Susie, read about her adventures with journals, then scroll down and read some of the other entries by my other journal-keeping friends.

And...may He meet you this Advent, come into you and dwell with you.
May you bear Him with the joy and humility that Mary had.
Come, Emanuel!


quietspirit said...

Carolyn: This is so sweet. I like the parallel. We are taken by surprise when God confronts us with Himself. Have a nice weekend.

Susie - Recovering Church Lady said...

Loved this a lot Carolyn! After writing the feature for this months RJD I can't seem to work up a new blog post, but I hope to get some inspiration tonight.

Pamela M. Steiner said...

I love this post. It always amazes me to read the story of Mary and the Angel...and her faith and trust. She is a remarkable example for us still today. So many things she had to "ponder in her heart".
Thinking of you and your family during this Advent season. Saying a prayer for you as you adjust to the "new normal" of your home. "Emmanuel...God IS with us"

Dawn Maurice said...

I never thought of faith in this way--such a brilliant comparison, it really touched my heart! Thank you! Blessings to you and Beve for the holidays and as you take on taking care of Grampie--praying for you all ((Hugs!!))

Dawn Paoletta said...

What is everyone breaking the rules this month??? lol. OK, commenting before I will read and comment again.

Dawn Paoletta said...

Oh, my heart. What a beautiful share, Carolyn. You bless me every single time you put that pen to paper, or fingers to keys. Beautiful.

Kel Rohlf said...

Carolyn- I love this reflection on answers some questions I was pondering over at my blog for RJD...funny I broke the rules too and shared my current blog post and a link to a vintage Advent post! It's a revolution this using blog posts for RJD...and our fearless co-leader posted and awesome poem!

Jeannie Pallett said...

He was alive in me. Have been marveling lately at this and how God must have had a host of angels protecting His maiden. Your 5 words touch a deep place in my heart and I am glad I found you here at RJD.