In all our lives, there are periods when we may feel alone or isolated. However, it is what we do in those moments that determine our paths. In the story of Mary in Luke 1, Mary doesn’t let her isolation shape her future; rather, Mary recognizes that there is someone who she can connect with and lean on.
Scripture tells us that after the angel left, Mary went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country. Do you see what Mary is doing here? The first thing that she does when she feels alone is to find her people. I find it so encouraging that Mary didn’t wait on Elizabeth to find her but sought out inclusion. Friends, sometimes we must make the first step and that is OK! If we have friends like Elizabeth in our lives, they are going to welcome you.
When Mary and Elizabeth connect, something powerful occurs. The text tells us that Elizabeth’s child leaped in her womb, acknowledging that the unborn Messiah was present. But it’s not just John that is excited, Elizabeth too notices that something powerful is occurring. This is witnessed when Elizabeth states that Mary is the “Mother of my Lord.” The title of Lord is often used for God and Jesus as the resurrected Lord in Acts. However, Elizabeth is using this to recognize that the child within Mary will be the Lord and Master of her life, a powerful title for a child.
I think this story of Mary and Elizabeth is captivating because it identifies people who are trusting in God and realizing that we were not created to be alone. At the beginning of her story, God promises Mary that he will overshadow her, in essence providing protection and comfort as she embarks on her new path. But for Mary, the overshadowing isn’t a cloud, it’s Elizabeth. A person that she can rely on and lean on when fear and doubt set in. And in the same way that Elizabeth provides encouragement to Mary, we are called to do that for people in our lives as well.
This week, consider someone who you can reach out to and remind that they are not alone. Let that person know that you are there for them and willing to walk with them on their journey. And when we do this, we are overshadowing our friends in the same way that God promised to overshadow Mary.