Two Mornings: An Advent Story of Mary, Part 5


Mary stopped to watch as a bird hopped from spot to spot, gathering its early morning meal. “The birds are our teachers,” she thought. “They neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet our heavenly Father feeds them.”

Her thoughts continued, “The birds teach us to trust in the goodness of God. We do well to be content with the simple things, the necessary things; and to concentrate on the good that surrounds us, and not lament what we do not have.”

Such contentment was important to Mary, for life was hard in her village. She noticed every day how hard her mother worked, caring for children, running after them to keep them safe, playing with them, and teaching them how to do things. And all the while carrying water from the town well to their home, and gathering firewood, and pounding grain off the stalk, and shaping grain into flat bread, and all the dozens of other details that went into caring for the family. And she knew her father worked long hours in the hot fields, in order to grow the food they needed. He also worked odd jobs, doing whatever he could to supplement the family income. They were not wealthy people, but then no one in their village was. Life was not always easy, but they managed to get by, with enough to eat. In that, she knew their good fortune; she had heard tales of famine that had hit other places. They did not have much, but they had enough. For that, Mary was grateful.

           Lord, teach us to watch the birds. Teach us to be content. Amen.

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