Jason Wright: Letter to Mary, mother of Jesus
I can’t explain it, but I’ve been thinking a lot about Mary this holiday season. So recently I set aside my other projects to write her a letter of both appreciation and apology. I think it has, in some small way, rekindled my gratitude for her divine role.
Even though I wrote this “Letter to Mary” for me, I share it in hopes it might do the same for you.
I’m not sure why, but you’ve been on my mind a lot this year. More than ever, songs and stories bearing your name and fame fill the air. They’re beautiful bits of art; each invites the spirit of your Son into hearts, minds, chapels and living rooms. I’m sure you’re humbled by the attention.
Mary, I think of your life.
I ponder those three months at Elisabeth’s. Two friends. Two expectant mothers. Both baby boys aware of the other and the roles they’d play in paving the way.
On late nights did you stay awake under moonlight and talk like soon-to-be-mothers do? Did you weep together? Laugh together? Pray together?
Did Elisabeth sing to her unborn John? Did you whisper stories of Joseph and his craft to your unborn Jesus?
In the reverence of Zacharias’ home, he stricken dumb by doubt, did you see the angel Gabriel again? Were there additional visions so sacred they were not recorded?
I wonder, sweet Mary, how you felt as Elisabeth bore testimony that she knew your Son would one day save hers. And was there an inkling that one day in the River Jordan her son would baptize yours?
Mary, I think of that silent night.
You and Joseph in Bethlehem. Away from home. Tired. No room at the inn. Or so you were told. Your soul, body and mind knew the time had come.
As the hour slowly drew near, like a good friend approaching down a long dirt road, you must have rejoiced at the miracle! It must have filled you like a wave that grows to a flood and sweeps the Earth.
I imagine you swaddling him. The warmth of the tiny King pressing against your neck. I see Joseph touching his face, leaning in, his breath quick and his heart on fire.
You gaze on, inches away. Then Joseph looks in Jesus’ eyes and sees not his own, but the very eyes of God.
Mary, I think of the sky. Never clearer. I think of the manger. Never holier.
Multitudes of angels must have watched and rejoiced. And I like to imagine that I was among them, just one of countless children of God singing hosansas.
I would soon forget, of course, when at my own birth the thin veil fell in front of my spiritual eyes. But in your heavenly moment, watching you in that humble scene, I knew your perfect child would one day provide a path back home when my own earthly journey began nearly 2,000 years later.
Mary, I think of the heartache that would come.
His pain — unprecedented in history. You ached, too, in ways no one has ever known. You stood alone as the mother of a sinless, innocent man who was crucified for all mankind.
When I am filled with clear tears to think He died for me, I remember that He died for you, too. And I’ve only read about it. But you? You watched it.
Mary, I think of the anguish.
Oh, how the world defames Him! How can you, from a holy mansion higher than the highest clouds, not feel grief at how the world spits out His name in vain?
In some parts of His kingdom, His disciples are not free to proclaim His glory. Those calling themselves after His sacred name, Christians, are sometimes tortured and killed.
In other parts of the world, believers cannot even wish one another “Merry Christmas” without risking offense.
Many schools and stores have stripped the name of the holiday that marks His birth.
Governments are dismantling religious freedom in the name of fairness and equality.
Traditions, truths and lines are blurred, mangled and mutilated until they’re unrecognizable in the Gospel of Christ. We’re taught to tolerate sin and to rejoice in iniquity. We must respect opposing views, but dare not expect the same.
Mary, I am sorry.
I apologize for how the world is treating the Lamb of God, the Lord of Lords, the Living Water, the Bread of Life, the Wonderful, the Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace, the Son of God.
The son of Mary.
Still, as long as He lives, so lives hope.
While the world rattles in disbelief, please know that Christians will not give in.
Know that Christians will not deny Him.
Know that believers of every Christian stripe will only stiffen our spines.
Know that my Christian friends and I will never stop testifying that what you did in that tiny town of Bethlehem was not for naught. It wasn’t to fill history books or provide plot for films, pages and stages.
It was an act of obedience, a miracle, the beginning of the life that gave all others life. Even eternal life.
Yes, Mary. You’ve been on my mind a lot this year. And so has your Son.