Monday, December 10, 2007

Mary's Question

This morning I was reading about that famous incident when Gabrielle shows up to a very young Mary and announces that she's going to have a baby (who is going to be the son of The Most High and who will save the world, BTW.)

Gabrielle has big, amazing, lofty, heavenly things to say about the baby:

*He's going to be the Most High's son.
*He's going to be given (by God) the throne of his ancestor, David.
*He's going to reign over the House of Jacob FOREVER, (as in, his kingdom will never end.)

This is a big job description for a baby.

What I loved, as I read this morning, was Mary's response.

First of all, when the angel greets her as one who is "highly favored" by God, Mary is troubled. I love this humility. The girl is thinking, "Me? Not likely. I KNOW me."

Then, after the big description of awesomeness that will surround this baby, Mary has a simple question.

"How will this be," she asks. "I'm a virgin."

God's messenger has just given her a hugely heavenly message. It is weighted with historic significance and supernatural ramifications. This is BIG news.

But Mary has this one plain and down to earth question: "How am I going to get pregnant?"

Sometimes I feel unspiritual because, in the midst of great heavenly leadings, I have dull, practical, party-pooper kinds of questions. Things like, "How would we do that with our limited number of people on this team?" Or, "When would that really fit into our schedule?"

I don't mean to rain on any supernatural idea. I just want to know how we walk it out. I liked Mary's question because it showed me that it's ok to be a wondering girl like me. And the angel didn't rebuke her for wondering, he just explained.

"Well, alright then," she says after getting her answer. "Let's do this thing."


Sue said...

How will we walk it out? Definitely not a party-pooper question. We walk forward with our own two feet without asking questions, in our own greatness, much too often. Do I ask the basic questions of my King? Do I ask and listen?
Sweet Mary, in all her humility, is who I want to walk near, to be like. I love that Jesus gives us examples of real people and how they respond. I'm grateful for walking near you last year, sweet Lisa, a gift to me!

JohnL said...

So is "Let's do this thing." the new Lisa version? It sounds a little like Ahnold S.

It does seem that the calling of God requires both simple acts of faithfulness and huge amounts of His grace to fill in this massive gap between even our best actions and the reality of what He calls us to do. Grace, grace, grace, mercy and some more grace.

lisa said...

Sue, I miss walking near you! I agree with you in appreciating that we have stories of real people making their real responses, their real courageous choices and, sometimes, their real mistakes. It helps!

John, actually, it's the closest translation. Ha ha. Yes, I think we get to ask our human questions, but then we still have to combine those with faith and courage to lean into the calling. The grace is there, but we don't always appropriate it, I think. Not that appropriating it means that it is necessarily easy to live out.

Maybe we are learning to do it better along the way?

Jenelle said...

I really adore your biblical commentaries, incidentally.

lisa said...

And I adore, Ms Nelly, so we are in good company, you and I. I would say, "Aint we a pair, raggedy man?" but you are neither man nor raggedy. Still, it's one of my favorite movie lines. How's that for a rabbit trail?

gypsymelodies said...

Yes, I think Mary is maybe both overly-idolized and overly ignored. A bit like celebs and your friend Steve, maybe. I don't know. Good insight though.

And you did Urban? That's nectar! Karen seems really cool and there's a new prof, Scott, who is nice. But Brad Berky is so rad!!! I can't wait to take a class with him.

I told Trevor about your nice little comment and he told me that was right before you & Byron got married. I would like to hear more of that story sometime:)

Your time with them will be so dear. 1 week!

lisa said...

Yes, we did Urban spring semester of my sophomore year, which was spring semester of Byron's senior year. Then we got married that summer. Then we left for Africa :-) Well, not quite. We lived in SB while I finished my degree and THEN we left for Africa.

BTW, I've never met Steve but he found my post about him and left his comment. The blogsphere is neato :-)

Marti said...

I just wanted to let you know that I think what you and your family are doing is absolutely wonderful, and beautiful in the best of ways! I was wondering if there was an e-mail address I could reach you at, because I have a couple of questions. Nothing too important, It has to do with the work that you are doing in Tanzania! I found your blog through the Urbanowicz family's blog, who are friends of my family.
Anyways, I hope you are doing terrific! God bless, and peace always...

: )

lisa said...

Hello Marti and nice to meet you. I've sent you an note on your email address...


lisa said...

let's try that again...

a note. yes, i've sent you a note, not an note :-)

Marti said...

Thank you so much!

AN I will talk with you soon...

: )

Louise said...

Thanks Lisa- it's good to be reminded that it's not a sin to have practical questions:)

i don't think we know each other, but i found your blog on a rabbit trail around 24-7prayer sites..

lots of love,
Louise from NZ but now Egham!