Advent Promises

Friday, December 11

My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. Luke 1:46-47

Do you ever feel as though no one is listening to you? When we lived in Germany and my personal ministry involved developing relationships with women in the international diplomatic community, I made myself available to newcomers as they adjusted to a new culture and language. One day I accompanied an African woman to the grocery store to help her identify and choose products. After the items were placed on the counter, the cashier ignored my highly educated, beautifully dressed friend, turning to me with the request for payment accompanied by an obvious racial remark.

My friend was not only unheard but judged.

Mary identifies herself as a humble servant. She lived in a town considered inconsequential under the reign of a violent puppet king. She belonged to the peasant class, probably living in an extended family unit in which relatives shared an oven, cistern, and grinding stone. Even as a young teenager, Mary most likely spent daylight hours on domestic chores like carrying water, gathering wood for the fire, cooking meals, washing utensils and clothes. Who in the world would listen to her? Be mindful of— care about, show special attention—to her?

At various times in our lives, we feel unheard, unseen. A teenager cries, “You’re not listening to me!” A busy mother hungers for someone to see her, hear her, as a woman beyond a role. As we age, we’re tempted to believe we’ve become invisible.

I love David’s description of God’s attention to those in close relationship with him: Friendship with God is reserved for those who reverence him. With them alone he shares the secrets of his promises (Psalm 25:14, Living Bible). Can you imagine God leaning toward you, sharing a secret? He values you as a friend. Enjoy that friendship and take steps to develop that same stance toward one who feels unheard.

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