Breathing Space


Luke 1:58 (New American Standard Bible)
And Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months, and then returned to her home.

This is a passage where so much happens “between the lines.” We have no information about what occurred during those three months of Mary’s pregnancy. But we can guess. She was, no doubt, a big help to Elizabeth, who was far advanced in her own pregnancy, and who would have needed assistance in taking care of her home. Mary probably did the work that Elizabeth could no longer do: fetching water from the well, taking care of the animals, perhaps cooking food for the family.

Mary’s pregnancy wouldn’t have shown yet. She could spend her time taking care of Elizabeth, and talking about the future of their respective sons. This was a time of respite for Mary. A time in between the momentous announcement from the angel, and the time of reckoning when the world would know her secret.

But as Mary watched Elizabeth’s increasing belly, did she wonder what it would be like for her when she returned home? Elizabeth was long married to a faithful man who loved her. Her miraculous pregnancy would have been celebrated in the community, and both mother and father longed to hold their baby boy in their arms. What it would be like for Mary? Young, unmarried, poor. How would she tell her parents? What would she say to her fiancé Joseph? What would her friends think? What was going to happen?

But… for now… those questions would wait. For now, Mary was sheltered in a place of peace and preparation.

When you are in a challenging time in your life, to whom do you turn for comfort and support?

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