Friday, December 23, 2011

An Open Letter to the Mother of my Savior

Dear Mary,

I was raised protestant, so we've never really paid that much attention to you.  Of course, each year when we'd do our nativity play the girls would fight over who got to be Mary, especially if all the angel spots were full and all that was left was shepherds, but that's about it.  We like to focus more on your son.  You were a Jewish mother, I'm sure you don't mind.

However, the Christmas after I had my own son, I felt intensely connected to you.  I was 19 and having a child 5 months after getting married.  You do the math.  I couldn't look up.  My family was disappointed, my friends were judgmental...it was really hard.  I'd imagine even if you knew what was going on, that not everyone around you was particularly understanding.  I read the magnificant over and over and am in awe of your joy- but I wonder if it lasted.  I remember staring at the floor in church one week as they talked about you, the teenage mother of a child not her husband's, and I wondered if you kept looking up.  I wonder how hard it was for you- if you ever outlived the stigma. If when your son was bleeding on the cross there were still a few people snickering "maybe if his mom wasn't so loose..."

I just wonder.

I don't remember the exact day, but I do remember a few years later, after much depression and self-loathing that I finally looked up.  A professor remarked to me "Why Mrs. Kristina, what a beautiful face you have.  I don't think I've seen it these few years! I'm so glad you've decided to see what's in front of you!".

I promptly burst into tears.

Anyway, that's all just to say that every Christmas, I now wonder what it was like for you.  Even with great faith, it must have been hard.  Even as a protestant, I've come to respect how difficult your journey must have been and how much you must have sacrificed so that we could all have the gift of your son.  I hope that you looked up one day, especially in realization of the gift you gave us by being humble.

In appreciation,
Kristina


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