I Have A Broken Mary

When Jesus heard this, he told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor–sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” Mark 2:17

Brent and I came home to the boys in bed.  Miss Claire was waiting for us in the kitchen.  Our home straight and clean without a trace of gingerbread house icing, peppermint or pillow fights.  Though an hour prior I can only imagine the scene.  Three boys doused in decorating and the joy of having sitter and extra sugar.  I am sure the living room was a lively place.

I set down my purse and listened to the report:  Ethan took his medicine, all three ate well, everyone had a bath and gingerbread houses were a hit.

Awesome.  The news you want after a date night away.

But there was one small detail she regretted to share.

A little pillow war.  Nothing mean or ill-intended, just boys being boys, but the pillow fight turned into a Willow fight, as my much-loved Willow Tree Manger Scene got mixed in the madness.

Claire found all the pieces.  A lamb’s ear and the back of Mary’s gown.  Nothing a little super glue couldn’t mend.

So the next morning, I took to the scene.  Operation Willow Tree.  The lamb’s ear was a cinch.  No guess-work.  But Mary’s gown, a different story.

Several pieces, all oddly shaped, framed the back of the figure.  I turned the fragments right and left, trying to fit the puzzle together, but nothing seemed to match.  I set down my glue and my Mary and studied the tiny shards.

That delicate figure.  She was destined to break sitting front and center – the Christmas show piece of our Living Room decor.

As I racked my brain on how to make the pieces fit together again, I suddenly began to see beauty in her broken gown.  Suddenly Mary didn’t look so perfect and serene.  Mary looked like me.  Broken and holding tight to Jesus.

We tend to hold Mary in such high regard, as we should.  She did give a supernatural birth to the Savior of the world.  I am not discounting that, at all. Whatsoever. Nada. None.

But let us not forget… Jesus didn’t just come through Mary. He came for Mary.

Jesus came to save her, too.

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It is easy to hold our lives up in comparison to others.  We stand with super glue in our hands, trying hard to mend our broken pieces so we can look as well put together as the other “Marys” around us.  But reality be told, we are all broken.  And Jesus came for us all.

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.  Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous.  He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.  Romans 3:23-24

Set down your super glue – your brokenness is beautiful.  The shards that make up the mess are the exact reason Jesus was born.  This is the Christmas story: Jesus entering into our world, into our sin and into our shame and making us all beautiful.

If you feel you are a mess… then let me assure you. You are.

And so am I.

And so was Mary.

But that is what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.  Jesus coming to save a world full of broken people who couldn’t fix themselves.

So Mary sits as the centerpiece of our Christmas decor, still.  But now she stands as a reminder to me that perfection isn’t what I am going for here.

Just His presence. Emmanuel.

So cling tight to Jesus today.  Look into His face and ponder the One who came to piece us together again.

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