There's a lot of talk this time of year about just what Mary knew. And I don't really know what Mary knew or when she knew it, whether the baby boy jumped for joy in her belly the same way John did Elizabeth's or whether he brought her peace amid the pain of childbirth or whether he was a typical baby boy or always something a little bit special.
But one of the things I've always loved about Mary in the Gospel stories is the way she "treasures these things in her heart." Over and over again, Mary takes the little truths she hears about her son, the kind words people say about him, the extraordinary things she witnesses in him and "treasures them in her heart," like she's saving up stories of Jesus just for herself. I love that.
I love that she treasured in her heart what she heard of her son in the Temple, after they'd frantically searched for Him and found Him sitting among the learned. I love that she treasured the miracle at Cana. And the words of the angel. And the whole birth experience. I imagine her heart just soaked in the quiet light of the manger, all aglow by the little lantern they carried with them.
I love it because I guess I feel like it gives me permission to treasure some things about Him in my heart. I write this blog, and I speak at church, and I minister to patients and families and just persons in general, but the truth is that I don't tell everything I know about God. Some things, they only make sense to me. They only have that depth of meaning for me. They're my own little bits of Jesus tucked away and treasured in my heart.
And you know what? I think that's ok. I don't think I have to apologize for that. And the good news is: I don't think you do, either.
Mary had this special relationship with Jesus; she was His mother. She knew things about Him we can only speculate about. She knew things about Him that His disciples would never know. She knew things about Him that "only a mother knows," and if you are a mother or have a mother, you know that a mother knows. In the same way, I know something about Jesus that only I can know. You know something about Jesus that only you can know. It's beautiful.
It gives us a reason to keep pursuing. It keeps a little bit of mystery about Him, keeps us asking the questions, keeps us going after Him. Keeps us wondering about this Jesus fellow and just what it is about Him. Just when I think I have something figured out, I discover just a hint of something that only you know about Him, and I'm wondering all over again.
There's a lot of talk this season about just what Mary knew. I don't think we'll ever know; I don't think she'd tell us if she could. Because part of the joy of Jesus is discovering every little thing about Him and tucking it away inside your heart where this little boy, this son of Mary, this Son of God is this treasured story that dwells within you.