|ps from ps…|
So you’re an unmarried, young virgin and an angel tells you that you are about to have a baby…and it’s sort of God’s…and the name is already picked out…and he’s going to save the world.
How’s your day going now? Hope you’ve had your coffee!
Can you imagine that news? Can you imagine getting that lifestyle changing, world disrupting, overwhelming responsibility news? How do you react?
Here’s how Mary reacts: she sings! After telling the angel: “Here I am, Lord; your lowly servant. Let it be according to your word,” she moves into song, singing that her soul magnifies the Lord and her spirit rejoices in God, her Savior.
Does that reaction match yours? It certainly would have been a bit different than mine.
But I think it’s mainly because Mary sees just outside the frame.
See when we get so focused on only what is inside the frame (a picture, a computer screen, phone camera shot, etc), we only see a part of what’s going on. But there’s so much more happening just outside the frame.
Mary saw that bigger picture. She saw what God had done and was going to make happen. If she only saw what was inside the frame, I bet her reaction might have been a tad different. If she didn’t have the deep faith to know that the redemptive action of God for the world was unfolding through her life, she might have sung: My soul is actually perplexed, annoyed and angry that my life is getting turned upside down. But she didn’t sing that. Because she was able to see just outside the frame.
In 2020, as we roll through maybe the most difficult year that I’ve experienced in my 49 straight, are we spending enough time looking outside the frame like Mary? As our culture adapts to a “Zoom-lifestyle” to maintain communication and function, has that moved our vision even more centered on the center of what we see on our personal screen? As the divisions in our culture further divide politically, racially, economically, are we only looking at our preferred frame-work and seeing less of the other pictures of God’s handiwork and grace and diversity and faith journeys and differences hanging on the wall that lie just outside the frame?
So today, maybe you’re reading this and you’re not an unmarried, young virgin. Still the same, there’s a chance that you’re getting or going to get some news/circumstances/life that you didn’t expect. There’s a chance that 2020 rolled through your story like a runaway truck and tore up some plans, dreams, directions and hopes that were nicely situated on your screen.
Either way, I invite you to channel Mary and sing. Because just outside the frame is a God still at work. A God still coming. A God still seeking you out. A God still with plans for a future for you that is filled with hope. That God still lies just outside the frame.
Lord, help me to look like Mary does and see you just outside the frame. Amen
Still in One Peace,