Thursday, December 16, 2010

Mary's Song of Thanksgiving

Recently, a brother in Christ taught a lesson about Mary's song, Luke 1:46-55. I found myself drawn to the words once again, but I did not notice before the heading at the top of the Bible's passage, titled: Mary's song of thanksgiving.

Here's the first part of Mary's song, verses, 46-48.

". . . My soul doth magnify the Lord,
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed."

Magnify in verse 46 means make great, meaning the Lord is highly important to Mary. She needs him.

What does this have to do with our suffering after the loss of a child? Or any death, for that matter.

I knew of a Christian woman who lost her son in a motorcycle accident. I reached out to her (Joshua had been gone for two years by this time), but her state of mind alarmed me. She admitted she went to church but she didn't want to be there. It left her empty, feeling hollow. Every single time for weeks and months she had these feelings. I prayed for her.

Yes, there were many days before Sunday worship that I cried right up until I walked out the door dabbing my face with a hankie. I didn't feel much like going. I worried I'd sob right through service. It is miserable to face a crowd when you're hurting so profoundly that all you want is to leave this earth. Every time, though, I grew stronger for attending services on the Lord's day.

We need a song in our heart, especially when we're walking through the valley of the shadow. It may be too simplistic by some standards, but it is OUR song.

A song could look like mine those first years after Joshua died by suicide. Hold me up Lord, I pray. Nothing can snatch me out of your hand, Lord. You are worthy, Lord, to give me your strength, for mine is wasted.

What is your song? The song that you sang in your heart after the loss of a loved one. If you didn't have one, you can still find your song. You can sing it now and praise Lord, God. He always blesses us when we reach out to him.

At this time of year, life weighs heavy on those who have lost dear ones. Keep a song in your heart, even if it is but; help me, Lord. I've found those three words the most powerful. Our Lord comes running.

Until next time . . . sing.

Author note: The photo above is of my daughter, Jami, as she sang her songs. (Photo taken nine months after her brother passed)


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  2. With a song in our hearts. This is so true. My song changes. Sometimes it's a Lord help me take another step, and at times it's a Lord thank you for the breath in my lungs and the beat of my heart, songs can have a very powerful meaning to your well being. They can bring you up or down. That's why sometimes I just pause and pray for a breath, just to remind myself I still have living to do.

  3. Marla, so glad you stopped by.

    Just breathing is a song.

    I really loved your phrase: ". . . I just pause and pray for a breath, just to remind myself I still have living to do."

    So true and honest.

    I love you, sis!

  4. Hey Jean Ann,
    When it became clear that my amazing mom wouldn't last much longer with us, my aunt looked me in the eye & said, "You have to go to bed every night & wake up every morning feeling grateful. You have to." That "song" has become one of my meditations - when tragedy strikes, those of us who can live in gratitude are more able to be of service, & the combination of the gratitude & its effects & the sweetness of being able to help others all add up to lead toward healing.

    Here's wishing you a holiday surrounded by those you love, awash in gratitude.


  5. Jean Ann, If we consider the Psalms to be songs, which they are, the following was mine for many years.

    "When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs, where pools of blessing collect after the rains!" Psalm 84:6 (NLT)


  6. Charlie,

    So good to hear from you, old pal!

    What a blessing your aunt was to you at that very moment. Wise, wise words, for she knew your heart. What a great song for you.

    Best wishes to you and yours.

  7. Cass,

    Thanks so much for sharing that very beautiful Psalm. I will read it in my Bible.

    God bless you!