Part 2 in a series
By Brenda Black
Everybody needs an Aunt Liz. She's the go-to kinfolk who always has a spare bed and a listening ear. No matter your need or the timing of your visit, Elizabeth is prepared and available. A woman of hearth and home, Lizzy embodies hospitality. It stands to reason, then, that little, unwed Mary, overwhelmed with the news that she is carrying the Savior of the World within her womb, would seek a a soft place to land. She ran to Uncle Zechariah and Aunt Elizabeth.
“At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judah, where she entered Zechariah's home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: 'Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!'” (Luke 1:39-45)
This scene tickles me. I envision the breathless Mary bursting through an already open door into a sun-bathed kitchen where Elizabeth, no doubt, is elbow deep in a bowl of flour dusted dough. All of a sudden, her quiet humming and kneading is shaken by the enormous thump within her enlarged abdomen.
I remember flutterings early in my pregnancies. Then came the hard, uncomfortable lump when baby-to-be curled up in a knot. One of my precious bundles was sensitive to sound and light. My baby lurched in my womb when I started the hand mixer one time! The other one wiggled and twisted and did summersaults for approximately six months!
It's easy for me to imagine Elizabeth's child-bearing sensations, but the emboldened declaration prompted by the filling of the Holy Spirit goes beyond typical maternity matters. Quiet, reverent Elizabeth belts out a proclamation like the ring side announcer at a boxing match and sets little Mary back on her haunches.
Oh, the conversation between the elder and the younger mothers-to-be from that moment forward must have been wildly exiting while deeply profound. And in this humble household, permeated with the touch of love and the smell of baking bread, Mary becomes a woman and Elizabeth is filled with grace and favor. Then she blesses the child-bearing child herself.
I adore Elizabeth! I want to be an Elizabeth! I want to be ready and available to receive my Lord in all of His interesting packages. I want people to enter my home and know they'll find a place in my heart as well. I want to be filled with the Holy Spirit and speak truth and life into the ones I love. I want to be just as joyful for the good news of others as I am for my own privileges.
Amazingly, God wants that for me too! He wants to abide in us and minister through us. When the Lord enters our homes, our hearts, our lives, our work, our wonder, our hopes and beliefs, we enter a place called blessing. I think my heart just leaped at the very thought of His indwelling.