Tuesday, December 8, 2009

What Mary Felt

Tonight I am singing a solo at our church Christmas dinner for the adults. I am terrified. I've never sung by myself... ever. I think I'd rather speak in front of a million people than sing in front of 50, but I need to sing this song.

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.


  1. It actually went really really well. I was terrified, and luckily went home and put a turtle neck on because my neck and ears turned bright red (always happens to me). I didn't mess up too bad, except at the end when I couldn't finish because I was crying to hard, but so was half the audience. The spirit was REALLY strong and by the time I got to the end of the song the pianist was crying so hard she couldn't see her music so we had to wait a few measures to calm down before we finished.

    I had lots of people come up and tell me that it was beautiful and powerful. Several women even came up and thanked me because I'd helped them understand Mary in a way they'd never thought of before. I told them it wasn't me... it was the Spirit... all of it.

    It might take me awhile before I feel confident again enough to attempt more solo public singing-- or maybe just another incredible song.

  2. We are beginning to study the life of Christ in the youth group I teach and I can relate perfectly to what you went through. My son played the role of baby Jesus this past Christmas and the Christmas before that I sang a solo "Mary, Did You Know" (I was pregnant at the time.) I can not imagine what Mary felt, her emotions, and the fact that she knew what her sons destiny was and yet still held strong with God. I can only pray that I please God in the ways she did.

  3. Hi Heather, I came searching for the lyrics of this, because the Spirit brought this song to my mind today. When I asked to understand why I heard this song, I was given a blessing to understanding the specific meaning in regards to the symbolism of my life and experiences.

    I am so tired though, and didn't have time to recount the song, and so I pasted an excerpt of your page into my journal (and of course linked to where I got it from), and drew a further analogy of what I wanted to explain, but was too tired.

    However, I am not too tired to thank you! Thank you for listening to the Spirit in your life, and for writing this post, and for blessing your life through the love you have of Jesus Christ. May you continue faithful on the arduous, but marvelous journey of life!

    It's been years since you made this post, and yet it has proven to be a spcial blessing for me. Thank you so much!