I think every mother remembers that exact moment when the doctor placed their newborn baby on their chest. My firstborn looked me right in the eyes and there was no doubt that my life would never be the same. There was nothing more perfect than her in the whole world.
My second child, I couldn’t hold right away, because she was in the NICU. She came a little too early and she had to be delivered by emergency c-section. After I woke up from the anesthesia, they wheeled me upstairs to see her. She was laying in a plastic box where she was covered with tubes and wires. The ache to hold her was overwhelming. She was so tiny and precious and it felt unnatural not to snuggle her close to me.
When I finally looked into my son’s eyes for the first time, I felt joy in the fullest. After losing eight children to miscarriages, he was our miracle baby. His little chubby face reminded me that hope always wins.
This time of the year, as a mother, I always feel a special connection to Mary. I always wonder what that night was like when she gave birth to Jesus. Like me, she experienced the labor pains, the uncomfortableness, and the nerves. I often wonder who delivered Jesus. Was it Joseph? Did Mary labor all alone? Was there maybe another woman around to help her?
Can you imagine, though, what she must have felt when she saw her son for the first time? What must it have been like to look into the face of God and know that your son was destined for things beyond your understanding at that time? Seeing your child for the first time is always surreal, because they are a product of love. What started out as a tiny, tiny human is now here with their own little personality. For Mary, though, the surrealness had to be on a whole different level. To quote the song, “the tiny child she was holding was the great I Am.” Just the thought of it leaves you with a profound sense of awe.
What a special gift Mary was given. I don’t think special is even the right word. To hold God, to raise Him and care for Him, is sometimes beyond the scope of my mind. However, it was because God loves us so much that the story is the way it is. Babies are created through an act ordered towards love. Christ was made flesh through the love of the divine life of the Holy Spirit. How fitting that God came into this world to rest in the arms of a mother, because a mother’s arms is a place where love resides.
Everything about Christ becoming man is love. He didn’t force His way here. He didn’t show off in some mighty show-down. No, He came as a helpless baby into the arms of a loving mother. As women, we are truly blessed to carry our children and bring them into this world. It is one of the greatest acts of love there is. I think, in many ways, God knew that this would be the best way to come into the world–through a mother. A mother’s love is some pretty strong stuff.
Mary was given a special grace through the honor of being the Mother of God. Jesus is the supreme gift to the world. Every mother gets the unique privilege to share in this specialness, because, we know from the first moment we see our children, that we, too, have been given a gift. It is our honor to mother these precious gifts from God and love them through their lives.
In my opinion, the single most important human role in the world was being the Mother of God. Women bring forth life and truly sustain it. Not every woman is a mother to a biological or adoptive child, but we care and nurture in so many other beautiful ways. It’s born within us–to take love and spread it all around. All around. Mary had all the love, because she said “yes” to God and in doing so gave ALL of us Christ. She literally gave us Love. Such a good mother.