Advent it coming on in a couple of weeks; I discovered this lying around. I printed off a shorter version a few years ago.
While John Paul II was enduring his last illness, there were a great many posts about his beliefs (or perceived beliefs). John Paul did have a special devotion to Mary; something he shared with his fellow Poles. There were a great many posts in J land or the message boards arguing back and forth whether Mary was actually Jesus's mother-in the physical sense.
The sense of a lot of the posts made Mary at best a surrogate mother and at worst, an incubator. This has been percolating since then, so here goes.
Many of my fellow J landers are parents. I don't have kids, but I have five nephews, I've changed a lot of diapers over the years. Actually getting the child into the world is just the beginning.
I suspect that many of the posters didn't really think through what they were saying. Think of all the foster parents, friends, aunts, uncles, grandparents, step-parents, and adoptive parents. They become parents for reasons that transcend physical birth. Other family members die leaving small children behind. They adopt a child someone else can’t raise. The man I called grandpa promised his best friend that he’d look after his family. And he did it very well, thank you very much.
When a child comes into the world it’s just the beginning. Imagine God as a totally helpless baby. It has to be fed, changed, and bathed. Parents walk miles when that little one has the colic or starts cutting teeth. I suspect that little ones came down with colds and needed their noses wiped as often two thousand years ago as they do now.
When a toddler discovers what those little hands and feet are for, it has to be watched over to make sure that curiosity doesn’t lead those little hands and feet into danger. It had to be almost impossible to baby proof a house with an open hearth, bake oven, looms and carpentry tools. Someone's hands have to be there for those little hands to hang onto when the baby learns to walk. Someone’s voice helps the baby to learn to talk. The parents have to be there to teach the baby to love and be loved. That little boy, all little boys need loving parents to teach them how to love and how to be a man.
God couldn't be there to do these things for that baby. So he sent Mary and Joseph. They were His mother and father in every way that counts.
Imagine things from the Creators' point of view. Think about God watching someone else cuddle that baby. Watch someone else hold out their hands for those first faltering steps. Watch someone else encourage those first lisping sounds. Someone else offer comfort in the dark hours of the night when the child was sick. Watch someone else offer comfort when knees get skinned. Listen while that child calls someone else mother or father.
It's hard to imagine God as sacrificing, but I can't imagine a greater sacrifice than allowing someone else to raise your child.
Cross posted in Walking With Hope.