“Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled." - Luke 1:39-45
The story of the Visitation invites us to move beyond our agendas and engage in authentic ministry. Given the crown of joy and cross of sorrow, Mary rested in her faith and surrendered her concerns, worries, and preoccupations. Laying both palms out, she trusted God’s promise for her life. Mary embraced how God’s will was her will. She responded with loving service by visiting and being with her cousin, Elizabeth, who struggled with infertility for years and now six months pregnant. Mary came to serve, yet she was consoled by Elizabeth, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”
Mary brought God to Elizabeth in her heart and womb. Elizabeth revealed His loving spirit through her companionship, comfort, and words of affirmation. The Visitation is an example of how faith shared brings life. God invites us to share our lives and offer one another the gift of undivided presence this Advent season. He encourages us to be generous and generative like Mary and Elizabeth by listening carefully and reverently to each other. He draws us to a life of spiritual companionship of not only serving, but to also be served, cared for, loved, and consoled.
Writer David Augsburger once said, “Being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person, they are almost indistinguishable.” When reflecting upon my most meaningful relationships, they create the space for me to be honest, open, and vulnerable. They encourage me to relax into the way things are, floating with the current instead of desperately trying to swim against it. These soul friends offer enough compassion to make me feel safe and transmute my fear and anxiety. They keep me tethered to God and turn my limitations into beautiful privileges, enabling me to walk with greater peace, understanding, and support. When receiving this type of love and trust, I look forward to sharing these deeper parts of myself and anticipate hearing what is going on in the depths of their lives as well. The world becomes a gentler place and gratitude grows into an unceasing response for me.
Lord, who do You invite me to pay closer attention to today?