Mary does not have a gender-reveal party with a surprise color of cake–teenage pregnancy has always been hard–but she does seem to have a wise friend, and having a wise friend seems to make all the difference.
I’ve been thinking about wise friends lately.
Recently, I found myself needing some faithful guidance. I talked with God, checked in with my spiritual director, and called on friends and mentors. The sound of those dear ones answering their phones on the first ring has overwhelmed me with thankfulness. How fabulous to be surrounded by so great a ‘cloud of witnesses!’ I feel so blessed to have a community of faith who loves and encourages me along the way.
What about you? Do you have a few dear ones whom you can call when you have a tough decision? Do you have wise counselors who will speak the truth to you in love? Who makes up the cloud of witnesses that has brought you this far?
If you have these people in your life– woohoo! Great news. Take a moment and reach out to them and tell them how thankful you are for their presence.
If you do not have these people in your life– that’s ok, we can work on it.
Look around and identify those from whom you could hear the truth in love. For me, I look for a spiritual director who tells it straight and whose prayer shines through their life. Others may desire a spiritual director who has known them for a long time or offers the right kinds of insight at the right time. The point is we are listening for wisdom from God that we can hear, neither too pointed nor too sweet.
Wise counselors are important to our children, too. Our children need dear ones to whom they can reach out to when making tough decisions. Traditionally, this has role has been part of the godparent portfolio, but the relationship is more important than the title. I did not grow up with godparents, so I relied on neighbors whose children I babysat and adults from church. I knew I could call them if I ever got in a tough spot (a few would even provide bail if needed, bless them). Our children need wisdom, too, and because we parents don’t know everything, they need counselors, too. Plus, they might actually listen to another adult.
When I think about Mary, pregnant and young and full of awe but probably also freaked out, I notice she does not go to her mother. She chooses Elizabeth.
In the first chapter of Luke, we hear about Elizabeth’s pregnancy and how miraculous it is given that she is ‘getting on in years’ (her husband Zechariah’s words, not mine). Then later on in that first chapter of Luke, we hear that the angel comes to Mary to relay her own favor with God and her own pregnancy. Almost as proof, the angel brings up Mary’s cousin Elizabeth who is now pregnant in her old age, for “nothing is impossible with God.”
Mary ‘sets out with haste’ (presumably, her mom asks, ‘Who was that boy you were talking to? And Mary replies, “Mom, I’m going out”) and takes off quickly to see her cousin Elizabeth. As soon as Mary arrives, Elizabeth can see immediately what is needed and takes her into her home. Think about that for a moment. Elizabeth is of advanced maternal age, more than 6 months pregnant, and I imagine has plenty of her own things to concern her. Yet, when Mary arrives, Elizabeth drops everything, and the child in Elizabeth’s womb leaps. Mary knows just who would take her call, whether it was 2pm or 2am. Elizabeth was Mary’s wise friend who would help show her God’s wisdom.
Think about your own life.
Do you have an Elizabeth, a wise and faithful person who will take your call? Or, can you share Elizabeth’s wise and loving spirit with someone else?
Can you find ways for the children in your care to have adults who love them and will take their calls, guiding them through the tough decisions of life?
[Image Credit: Ailura, CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons]