From My Point Of View: Mary’s Story: Gift And Choice After The “Amen, Allelujah,” Then What? -- By: Evelyn Bence

Journal: Priscilla Papers
Volume: PP 08:4 (Fall 1994)
Article: From My Point Of View: Mary’s Story: Gift And Choice After The “Amen, Allelujah,” Then What?
Author: Evelyn Bence


From My Point Of View:
Mary’s Story: Gift And Choice After The “Amen, Allelujah,” Then What?

Evelyn Bence

Evelyn Bence is a writer and editor. In this article, the material in italics is taken from her recent book, Mary’s Journal: A Mother’s Story (Zondervan, 1992), and is used by permission.

Several years ago I got an idea for a biblical novel; Placing myself in the world of Mary the mother of Jesus’, I would write in her voice — a diary spanning thirty years and titled Mary’s Journal.

Once my editor gave the go-ahead, I started at the beginning of the Gospel story. I filled a page, then two, giving Mary’s account of the angel’s announcement: “Rejoice. Don’t be afraid. You are favored. You will have a son ... the Son of the Most High.” And Mary’s quick response to the gift she’d been offered: “I am the Lord’s servant. Let it be as He says.” Amen.

By page four of Mary’s Journal, she had traveled south and been welcomed by Aunt Elizabeth who had confirmed the angel’s blessing. Mary could not contain her joy: “My soul praises the Lord. My spirit rejoices in my Savior, who has seen the willing heart of His servant....” Allelujah.

I paused in my writing. “Yes, Lord, and I thank You — for planting this book idea in my mind. For giving me a willing heart.”

But at this point on page six of the manuscript I had a hard time finding words. What was next? I had a vague vision of, and even a contract for, a one hundred eighty-page book. In five pages I had covered the great amenso be it and the great allelujah that have traditionally defined Mary’s life of faith. Now what?

Now it was time to face the fact that in one significant aspect Mary’s life was amazingly similar to mine. She, the most favored of all women, living in primitive Palestine, and I, an “ordinary” twentieth-century believer starting out on a “mission,” shared common ground. We had been graced with the faith to say “yes” to a seed-gift. Now we had to rise to the challenge by making the hard daily choices required if the entrusted gift was to grow to full maturity in our care.

The Gift Becomes the Work

The angel had given Mary precious few details. She had the promise that her son would grow up to be a king who would rule Jacob’s house, but in the meantime what did she do when she got up the next morning?

I recently read an old German saying, “The gift becomes the work.” I wanted to protest: no, unfair. Then I thought of the Tinkertoys I got for Christmas as a young child. “Just what I’d wanted. Thank you, Mom and Dad.” After r...

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