Madonna and Child, Original Watercolor, Marcia Carole
Today, one of my friends, Lani, with whom I walk, brought over one of my original watercolors which I had given her. It was nice to see this work once again; I am hoping to make prints to sell for upcoming trips. We both had a nice time discussing what we saw in Mary’s expression. There she is, innocent, serious, yet motherly and kind. I was remembering I wanted her eyes to be looking ahead and up to God. Lani sensed strongly the idea of “looking ahead.”
When I think about Mary, I marvel at this woman of tremendous faith and courage. Certainly, having a husband listening to and hearing the voice of God was an enormous demonstration of God’s care for Mary and quite a comfort. I’m sure she and Joseph had many happy moments and even seasons. However, she eventually got to the point, in her life story, with which she had “looked ahead” in her Son’s life – the cross, death, resurrection, ascension. In a sense, she had been looking ahead to giving Him away.
So much to ponder for this young woman. God entrusted her with a big job, an epic assignment. Eventually, on that cross, Jesus was given away to the world. Mary saw Him stripped of everything for the sake of the world. I think she handled her epic assignment well.
Seeing this painting again got me thinking. God has done the same for each of us who follow Jesus, believe in Him, and keep Him in our hearts by faith. We too, hold Him close, looking to our Heavenly Father, for direction, comfort, guidance – faithfully trusting Him just like Mary. We are also called to “give Him away” to the waiting world. What an epic assignment each of us has, if we will embrace it, just like Mary.
So they(the shepherds) hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. Luke 2:16-19
“Christian love draws no distinction between one enemy and another, except that the more bitter our enemy’s hatred, the greater his need of love. Be his enmity political or religious, he has nothing to expect from a follower of Jesus but unqualified love. In such love there is not inner discord between the private person and official capacity. In both we are disciples of Christ, or we are not Christians at all.”
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship