*picture above: a statue of Mary in a church we visited this summer in Narni (an ancient hilltop village in the Umbrian region of Italy)
And Mary said, My soul magnifies the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my savior. For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and now generation after generation forever shall call me blessed of God. —Luke 1.46-48
Mary was waiting – she was engaged to be married. Her whole life and future family was ahead, but not quite yet. Maybe she was excited. Probably she was a little scared. And then an angel visits her and makes an announcement. She questions. She wonders. And then she says yes.
As this shocking news of a God-laid-out-plan for her life sinks in, Mary’s response is to sing. We call this the Magnificat (my soul magnifies) or Mary’s song.
Luke 1.48 records, “He took notice of his lowly servant girl.” Another translation says “He set his gaze upon me.”
There’s something encouraging here… a reminder that God sees, God notices, God pays attention. There are times when I feel invisible, insignificant, small, or lowly in the eyes of the popular or powerful—and yet, God takes notice. He sets his gaze upon me.
Ultimately, Mary responded to God’s invitation with an emphatic Yes. She said, “Let it be unto me according to your word.” There was a willingness on her part to venture into the unknown with God. She somehow believed that God’s plan, no matter how mysterious, was worth following even if it meant laying her own plans down.
There is a special blessing of God upon those who are willing, those who say Yes.
There is a grace that comes on our lives… a grace for adventure, for change, for mystery and wonder, for the unexpected and the unknown.
For grace to be grace, it must give us things we didn’t know we needed and take us places where we didn’t know we wanted to go. As we stumble through the crazily altered landscape of our lives, we find that God is enjoying our attention as never before. —Kathleen Norris