It's Christmas time. While I rejoice in the birth of Jesus, my thoughts often travel to Mary. As a mom, I wonder what she felt. Did she know all that lie ahead? And then there was that journey to Bethlehem.
Much has been been debated over whether her mode of transportation was a donkey or not. Tradition says it was. Does it really matter? She was nine months pregnant--or at least far enough along to be delivered. Whether by donkey, by camel, or by foot, it was a long journey. Today she wouldn't even be allowed an airplane flight for fear she would deliver mid-air. And would her doctor allow the x-ray security check?
Then they arrived in Bethlehem to find that there was no room left for them. We once ran into that problem when we decided to leave a day early for our trip with the kids to Niagara Falls. It was a four hour drive and we thought we'd drive halfway, find a place to stay and then get an early start the next day. What we didn't know was that there were several festivals between us and Niagara Falls and rooms were booked for miles. We raced a van to the last hotel with a room and lost. We turned around and went halfway home, found a rest stop and slept in the station wagon with the kids that night. And I wasn't pregnant. I can't imagine the dismay of not having a bed to rest in and finding yourself in a stable.
Tired, dusty, worn out and probably without familiar female help to assist in the delivery, Mary's pains began. Her son, the one the angel had promised was from God, would soon be born. What an ending to a long journey. But for Mary, the journey was only just beginning. Her son, God's only son, would become the savior of the world. She would witness it all.
When she packed her bag to begin that journey to Bethlehem, did she know?