Today’s Gospel: Luke 2:41-51
I lost my son once in a department store. He was three years old, got into the elevator ahead of me and the doors closed and down he went! I found him hiding, two floors down, so very afraid, in the shoe racks. The whole event lasted maybe five minutes yet even now, twenty four years later I can remember how my heart was pounding and see his little face wet with tears when I found him.
Mary and Joseph’s hearts must have also been pounding when they realized Jesus was not with them. And when they finally find him, Jesus is so matter of fact as to where he has been. But obediently, he returns with them to Nazareth and Mary kept it all in her heart. If you are a mother, that idea of keeping it all in your heart is one you probably are familiar with. Moms keep so much in our heart.
I remember when a friend’s daughter was married, how I marveled at my friend, who is a crier, barely shed a tear. I asked her and she said that she focused on the present and not the past and so the few tears were truly out of happiness not memories of the past.
I suppose in many ways we learn to keep things in our hearts so that later, we can think about them and let our emotions out. If we let everything out all at once all the time it could be quite overwhelming. So we learn to not cry out when they get hit with a ball or someone tackles them at football. We learn to not automatically defend them when they get a poor grade or get fouled out at the basketball game. We keep all the sweet things they say to us, the little cards with misspelled words signed with their first and last name, and when they start holding our hand again in public in our hearts and hold onto them for later.
Just as Mary did, we keep them in our hearts, knowing full well that one day they will become who they are meant to be.
How can I help my children grow into the persons God is calling them to be?
Lord Jesus, my children are a gift. Help me to see them as you do and to love them as your Father does. Fill them with your light and keep them safe always. Amen.
Copyright 2014 Deanna Bartalini