The following is an actual conversation that happened several weeks ago.

Ben:  I love you, Mom.  You’re the second best mom in the world.

Me:  Umm….thanks.  I love you, too.  The second best?

Ben:  Yep.  The second best.

(awkward silence while I let this sink in)

Me:  Ok….So…just out of curiosity….um…..who do you think is the best mom? (I’m racking my brain, here.  A friend’s mom?  His Sunday School teacher?  Claire Huxtable?)

Ben:  (matter-of-factly) WELL…..JESUS’ mom was probably the BEST.

Me:   Oh. Yeah.  (duh)

I love that kid.

I mean, how do you argue with that?  He’s seven, and he calls it like he sees it.  While my ego would love to think that I might (unrealistically) get the Mother of the Year award, I am eternally grateful that my son has keener insights. I think any mom would be happy to play second fiddle to Mary.

A poor teen mom faced with the scorn and isolation of an unplanned pregnancy, Mary carried the weight of her holy responsibility with the kind of faith and obedience that I pray for a drop of.

Not much is known of Jesus’ childhood, but I’ve often wondered what it must have been like to be the earthly parent of the Savior of the world.  I know how easily I can lose my cool with my children when either (a.) they misbehave, (b.) I overreact, or (c.) both.

But what if your child doesn’t misbehave?

What if he doesn’t even sin?

Like, at ALL?

In fact, what if He is the only One who has the authority to forgive you?

Guess who the only one asking for forgiveness will be?

Don’t get me wrong – I have had to ask my children to forgive me more times than I’d like to remember when I have clearly been in the wrong.  But can you imagine what it would be like to tie the shoe (or fasten the sandals, in Mary’s case) or wipe the nose of the One who knows all the secrets of your heart?

How would it feel to walk the One to school who knows every hope and fear that you harbor deep within you, and who loves you even more fiercely than you love Him?

What would go through your mind while you listened to your son read the words He was born to fulfill?

Can you imagine how your heart would quiver to sing lullabies to the boy who will ultimately be the One to pay the price for your own sin?

To know that every foul word, every act of violence and greed, every depraved thought, every debilitating sickness, and the stench of death would soak into my son’s very being would be more than I could bear.

I can’t get my head around it.

But as the shepherds rejoiced at Jesus’ birth and spread the good news to all those around, “…Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19)

Laying her fears aside, she was willing to be a vessel to hold and care for the most precious Gift ever given.


He was created of a mother whom He created. He was carried by hands that He formed. He cried in the manger in wordless infancy, He the Word, without whom all human eloquence is mute.

St. Augustine