Mary’s Story: Script Flip
If you’ve ever been pregnant, or if you ever read that pamphlet your doctor gave you on that awkward day in front of your parents, you’d know that pregnancy is pretty much contingent on the Law of Cause and Effect. There’s just no other way. If perchance you are with child, then only you, God and Billy know what you have been up to.
There was one woman who did not obey this law, however, her name was Mary. She was not about this law at all. She defied probably every obstetrics/gynecology principle ever known to medicine. Many have tried to claim this same scientific defiance as the reason for their own mysterious pregnancies but ahem, c’mon…there’s always a Billy in there somewhere.
Mary was a virgin, promised in marriage to a carpenter called Joe. There was no cause in that relationship, but she got a fine load of effect. She is visited by an angel who tells her she will have a son as a virgin.
Fast forward to present-day, everyone loves Mary; she was pure and chosen. She is always portrayed as this obedient, dove-like, scarfed woman with a modest look on her face in bible stories.
No one ever stops and asks,“Did Mary have set life-plans and goals when Angel Gabriel showed up?”
Newsflash, she actually had plans. She really did. She wasn't just lying around waiting for her uterus to house“the One” who Isaiah prophesied about. She had plans! Plans to marry Joe. Wedding plans; the dress; vendor drama: Titus, the photographer, Marina, the cake sculptor; would she carry a bouquet of orchids or lilies? She had plans to build a home. Five-bedrooms or four? Minimalist or strewn with rustic mediterranean sculptures?! She had plans to have kids. Twin girls, then twin boys? Maybe triplets? She probably knew their names in her head. She probably had career goals too. Start-up or 9 to 5?
Then comes Gabriel with a message from God—a plan from God. A very, very unusual plan. The ultimate flip-the-script-of-my-life plan! A meek and obedient virgin she was, but you must be kidding if you think she didn’t mull this new plan over in her mind. Her mind could very well have exploded with this ludicrous plan, thoughts colliding in her head...
“This plan may cause Joe to dump you like a hot potato,”
"Start up suspended for now."
"Do they sell maternity wedding dresses in Nazareth? *Gasp!* Will there even be a wedding?!"
“Your star-virgin reputation will surely be drenched in gutter goo now.”
“Amara and Dorcas will never believe”,
“Oh, yeah. Your first kid with Joe, who you dreamt about meeting all your life isn't going to be your first kid after all"
"Mae, you had carefully selected the name Michael-John-Scott-Afolarin as your baby’s first four names but that won't fly. His name is to be called Jesus.”
On a grander scale, another thought must have loomed, in the shadow of which the other thoughts would have paled:
"This is a suicide mission."
According to Jewish law, a woman who is pledged to a man, and then steps out on him, visits some Billy’s tent and gets pregnant will surely be stoned. Joe had every right to have her stoned.
She must have thought about these things. The Bible doesn't describe the internal struggle, still, I bet it was there. But she did it anyway. She humbly accepted God's will and suspended hers- a remarkable show of faith in the unseen.
She laid aside her plans to be used by God. Interestingly, she wasn’t only a portal through which the savior was born, but she followed through on Jesus. She raised him(she could have abandoned him under a bridge and gotten on with life), but she was there throughout his life, even at calvary, she was there at the cross. She didn’t abandon this divine project. She laid aside her life and plans to be used for the project of salvation.
I don’t know about you but I’ve had plans and preferences since I was 2 years old. 18 months, actually.
However, God has a plan too; he’s had it for ages—before the foundations of the earth were created, he's had a plan. He offers it to me all the time but I stare at my own highlighted, segmented, neat blueprints, and many, many times I say through my actions, “God, your blueprints make no sense to me. They aren’t even blue! I can’t. Sorry. Shoo, Gabriel!”
I have fixed my ways.
His plan is always unique…and a little weird. That's what makes it so intriguing and perfect. Don't try and understand it. If Mary and Joseph tried to understand, they’d have gone crazy. Trust in God’s plan; if it isn't weird, something is off. If it isn’t crazy; if it doesn’t defy the Law of Cause and Effect; if it doesn’t require faith; if it doesn’t make people mock and despise you, then bleh, clearly then it’s your plan. Ditch that, take on God’s plan. Trust in the unseen! You won't regret it.
How are your life plans coming along? Have you considered God's plans too?