The woman in charge of the program called me a few days ago and said that she'd been thinking about me for awhile and felt strongly that she should ask me to sing a certain song for the Christmas program. I was kind of surprised because we have several incredible, I repeat incredible, singers and musicians in our church. Then I heard the song she wanted me to sing and I knew exactly why she wanted me to sing it.
The song is called "What Mary Felt" by Wanda Lindstrom (if you'd like to hear it you can hear a preview here or spend 99 well spent cents to download it.)
The song is the story of a woman who is asked to let her baby play the part of Jesus in the Nativity. As she watches her son symbolically play the part of baby Jesus she reflects, "Is this what Mary felt when she was chosen to be the blessed mother of the Lord? And did she ever feel that heavy burden, when she had to give him up to save the world?
It is a powerful song with a deep message and happens to be written for a low alto... perfect. It is also perfect for me, not only because I have a new baby, but because my son was born not long before Christmas and throughout his pregnancy, labor and birth I felt such a sisterhood to Mary. Not only was I amazed that she went anywhere on a donkey at nine months pregnant... that in itself makes her an incredible woman in my eyes... but I realized what a great sacrifice she made by being willing to sacrifice her son for the sins of the world. As I held my own first born son in my arms I reflected on the great joy and sorrow she must have felt on holding Jesus in her arms. Did her heart rejoice knowing who he was and what he would become? Did it break when she thought of what he would suffer and what would be required of him?
I wrote this is a previous post about Mary and it still captures my feeling about Mary exactly:
"We often talk about how much God loves us because He was willing to sacrifice His son, but Jesus was Mary's son just as much as He was God's son. What great love Mary must have had for all human souls to be willing to offer her son as a sacrifice for all our sins. What a magnificent and amazing woman she must have been. One can only imagine how her soul must have rejoiced at what glorious blessings awaited the world, but how at the same time her heart must have broken into pieces knowing what she knew her son would have to suffer. My soul rejoices in her and I will be forever grateful to this magnificent and beautiful woman for all her sacrifices and the immensity of her love."Tonight as I sing I am going to try to keep an image of her holding her newborn son in her arms, crying with joy and sorrow because of the gift God has given her. I hope I'll be able to transmit some of her great love across through my singing.
I'm still terrified.