I was walking through the hospital entrance, and I noticed an adorable Hispanic boy, probably about two years old, with a red cell phone pressed to his face, his mother hovering nearby, monitoring the conversation.
I completed my business and headed back the same way about half an hour later. The two were still there, keeping each other occupied. I wondered what would keep a young mother sitting by the hospital entrance with her young child. Were they waiting for a ride? Was another family member visiting someone in the hospital, with the “no minors” visiting rule in effect?
Whatever the reason for the extended stay, the mother was perched on a backless couch right outside the sliding doors of the main entrance, surrounded with a diaper bag overflowing with toys and other child paraphernalia, totally focused on meeting the needs of her child. She didn’t seem bothered by the situation, or the looks of passersby like myself. Her concern was that child, and nothing else seemed to matter.
I remember as a new mother how easy it was to be so focused on the needs of my young child that nothing around me mattered. Even though my children are now school aged, I will not hesitate to do the right thing for them, no matter what anyone around me might think about my words or actions.
I wonder if that’s how Mary, the mother of Jesus, was. I’ll bet she didn’t care what people thought about her bringing a child into the world inside a stable. She was most likely more concerned about the well-being of that newborn baby than her own pain and exhaustion. I’m sure she was nothing but proud as she and her new family were on display to a menagerie of strange visitors, both animal and human, that came to see the newborn Messiah.
This Christmas, I will also try to keep my focus on Jesus. Like the first Christmas, there are a lot of things going on to distract me. It’s tempting to view the Christmas season as something to survive: to attend the right parties and buy the right gifts and keep all the traditions. Instead of worrying what other people will think about how I choose to celebrate or share Christmas, I’m just going to focus on Him.