"Mary didn't waste a minute. She got up and traveled to a town in Judah in the hill country, straight to Zachariah's house, and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby in her womb leaped. She was filled with the Holy Spirit and sang out exuberantly,
'You are so blessed among women,
and the babe in your womb, also blessed!
And why am I so blessed that
the mother of my Lord visits me?
The moment the sound of your
greeting entered my ears,
The babe in my womb
skipped like a lamb for sheer joy.
Blessed woman, who believed what God said,
believed every word would come true!'
And Mary said,
'I'm bursting with God-news;
I'm dancing the song of my Savior God.
God took one look at me, and look what happened --
I'm the most fortunate woman on earth!
What God has done for me will never be forgotten,
the God whose very name is holy, set apart from all others.
His mercy flows in wave after wave
on those who are in awe before him.
He bared his arm and showed his strength,
scattered the bluffing braggarts.
He knocked tyrants off their high horses,
pulled victims out of the mud.
The starving poor sat down to a banquet;
the callous rich were left out in the cold.
He embraced his chosen child, Israel;
he remembered and piled on the mercies, piled them high.
It's exactly what he promised,
beginning with Abraham and right up to now.'
Mary stayed with Elizabeth for three months and then went back to her own home."
-- Luke 1:39-56, The Message
She was a delight! Oh, she felt a little woozy from time to time, and tired easily -- but then, that's to be expected when you're expecting, right?
From the moment she walked in the door, that girl fairly danced her way right into my heart. There we were, the old one and the young one, both full up with boys, gifts straight from God to each of us.
And I completely believed her story about the angel and the Holy Spirit visit -- yes, it was too familiar. That Gabriel has been very busy, bringing such joyous news to our family.
Cousins! Isn't it wonderful?
Even before they see each other face-to-face, they know one another. And my own wee babe will lead the way, pointing others to this Special Child carried by my dear, dear, Mary.
There is a slight shadow -- we both sense it and we wonder . . . what will become of these boys, these gifts, these ones we love so much even before we gaze upon their soft skin?
Yet we are choosing to trust. To believe that God's plans are good plans, that our boys are right where they are supposed to be, exactly in the middle of God's provision for our people.
So of course, we sing! And of course, we dance! And of course, we let our lungs fill with the good, sweet smell of thanksgiving and praise. And then we breathe it out, all over each other, all over this little town.
And someday, all over this wide, wide world.
Oh, Lord! Thank you so much for these women, for this old one and this young one. Thank you for their good hearts, their righteous choices, their loyalty and their commitment. They must have had moments of fear and wonder, yet here they are -- living in trust, choosing joy, thanking you. Help me to do the same, day in and day out.