Job Description for a Mother
Imagine for a moment that it was your job to find the mother of Jesus. I don't mean to go on a hunt for Mary, but I mean, what if you were the one God chose to find the woman who would carry and raise the Christ. What would be on your list? What would you look for in the mother-to-be?
Would she be learned? Old enough to know the ways of the world? Married to a "nice, traditional Jewish man?" Would she be in a family that had enough money to provide a "good home?" Perhaps it would be helpful if she read and spoke Hebrew so that she could help with understanding the Torah? In all serious job searches, we want to find someone with experience, so even if she wouldn't have raised a Messiah before, maybe it would be helpful for her to have had other children first, so that she wouldn't be a "rookie" parent. Maybe a priest's wife, so that her husband could show the son the ropes of the faith. All of that, plus be kind, gentle, but firm?
Maybe she would be the perfect Proverbs 31 mother, owning land, knitting clothes, dyeing wool, keeping her family warm and her husband proud of her?
And who does God choose? Mary. A young teenager in a no-where town, who was unmarried, and not at all experienced. Why choose her?
Mary was full of grace. What does that mean? I think it means that God had gifted her with the ability to love others. To see the poor and alone and to have a heart for them, the way God does. To be full of grace would mean that she could forgive the child when he stays behind in Jerusalem to teach in the temple. To be full of grace might mean that she could survive when he leaves her to go and preach on the mountains and in the valleys among those who would not be welcomed in most homes. Maybe to be full of grace would mean that she would have enough faith to live through her son's death, even as she had to watch it happen.
Perhaps God chooses better than we ever could.