After what must have been a strange visit by the angel (and a whole host of angels) the shepherds decide to go and see. The angel does tell them that they “will find a baby”, but never specifically tells them to go. I imagine these shepherds looking at each like, “well… uh… should we?” And then one of them shouts out, “road trip!”, and they head off. The more I sit in this story, the more I’m convinced they leave those sheep behind. There just isn’t time. So off they go, and somehow find this baby. How awkward was that scene? They just show up. I can see Joseph looking at them as if to say, “uh, can we help you?” And then they tell Mary and Joseph what the angel told them. What was it like to for Mary and Joseph to hear that story. How powerful. And there’s Mary, pondering these things in her heart.
I love that picture of Mary. She’s a 12-14 year old girl, and she is thinking deeply about what’s happening. In what was probably a confusing time, she turns to wonder. This has been a hard journey. It’s been long, and it’s been hard, and it’s going to continue to be hard. She was, I’m sure, terrified, uncertain and confused. She had to be wondering what God was doing in all of this. And in her confusion, she turns to wonder. There have been confusing times in my life- times where I have no clue what’s happening, no clue where God is in it, and no clue what might be in store. In those times, I usually turn to fear, anxiety, and even frustration. I pray that I may take a clue here from Mary: When I’m uncertain, afraid, and confused, while there may be fear, can I muster up the strength to turn to wonder. Can I muster up the courage to get outside of myself, step outside into the air, and look to up and into the stars to see just how massive the universe is and how within it, God holds me. Do I trust God enough to turn to wonder? And in so doing trade anxiety for peace?