Unprecedented Mothering: Eve & Mary

20130927-141159.jpg

Imagine with me: Your life begins as an adult. Your past includes no childhood, no parents, no human example of parenting. You're first experiences include daily, unhindered fellowship with your Creator. You're failure curses the entire planet for all future generations. You're mistake means the God you used to walk with everyday must now die to save you and all that come after you. And then you become a mother. The very first mother. There are no manuals written on the subject, no moms groups to attend, no previous example to learn from...you are it. You are the mothering "guinea pig".

I often wonder how much pressure Eve felt in those moments of complete inadequacy and overwhelming-ness. "I've got to get this right" she must have thought to herself. She must have been completely reliant on both Adam and with God. I imagine everything being so new and frustrating. To have known perfection on earth, to have drank it in not knowing any different, to have basked in the most blissful of situations: a perfectly beautiful life with a triangle of peace and happiness that has since been unmatched between humans and God. The perfect marriage. The perfect life.

And now the guilt and weight of sin bears down hard. The sense of failure must have been too much to bear. Consider how strong Eve had to become as the first mother. Working doubly hard at any task we now seemingly take for granted. And how much more did she feel the hammer of failure beating down on her when her own son murders his brother! The amount of grief she felt in her entire lifetime (I'm sure about 900 years worth) was indescribable! But I'm also sure she witnessed many wonderful times as well. She got to enjoy her family for more generations than than anyone after her. She probably became the best teacher of every mother after her as well. She also did many great things that are not even mentioned in the bible, I'm sure. God equipped Eve for being the first mother, and I think we should all consider Eve in those moments we feel alone in this mothering journey. Those moments we feel scared and our children aren't "getting it". I would label Eve as a hero in mothering. Even though she is "hated" as the woman who cursed the world, I think we need to look beyond the choice she made and see the person she most likely was. And she deserves more grace than most of us put together.

Flash forward thousands of years: a young girl in the thick of the trying teen years, who has no more to offer than world than her humble disposition.

I imagine Mary as an unpopular, wallflower type, yet strong, hardworking, and noble. Imagine being startled by an angel of God who declares YOU shall bare the child of the Almighty God. Imagine feeling confused as to why you are chosen for this task: you will mother the Son of God. Young, naive, unmarried, and poor...you will be His mother.

It's completely overwhelming for me to put myself in her shoes. It's hard to imagine...but one thing we always know for certain about how God works: He takes joy in using the unequipped, the regular/un-special type, those of us that doubt we could ever be used for anything extraordinary...so He chose Mary. Imagine the moment she delivers the child: it's completely unfitting to deliver God's son in a smelly, disgusting barn filled with animals. I'm sure she felt horribly awful about it. I'm also sure that, at first sight, when she looked into His eyes, the powerful love she felt, and I'm sure she received from Him in that moment, was unfathomable! Imagine having to raise the Son of God. You, a mere human, fallen, disgusting, vile...and your Son is perfection personified. I can't imagine the many moments of "why me God?" she must have had. I also can't imagine how incredibly special she must have felt to have been chosen for this purpose.

Mary also witnessed murder. She witnessed, firsthand, her son being murdered by the people He came to save. Eve and Mary went thru more tragedy than the majority of us will ever experience. And yet, God was found exalted thru it all. These mothers are forever connected by the filth that is sin, the real face to face relationships they each had with God, and the unprecedented, unique journeys of motherhood. May these mothers encourage you as you consider your own inadequacies, failures, and faults. Gods grace is big enough for all of it.

20130927-141244.jpg

-Alicia