Back in high school, I was a choir nerd. It was easy to recognize us because who else but choir nerds would walk down the hallway of a high school, wearing red and white striped rugby shirts, and singing Gregorian chants and madrigals? Oh, I'm cringing now, just typing it.
In addition to the singing, I used to be quite the fan of musical theatre. That's another telltale sign of a choir nerd. I married a guy who would rather pluck his eyebrows out then attend "Rent!" or "Cats!" or any musical (with or without the explanation point!) for that matter.
A few years back, he bought me tickets to "Mamma Mia," for Christmas. So, not only did he go to a musical for me, but he went to one based entirely on the works of Abba. That's love. Looking at his program, you could see that he made tick marks after each song, each song bringing his misery closer to an end.
My point is that sometimes, when I can't sleep, the words of musicals still go through my mind, even though I rarely listen to entire scores anymore. Last night, after feeding Joel, I returned to bed and the following words, from Les Miserables, drifted through my mind:
"To love another person is to see the face of God."
And again, thanks to insomnia, I found myself thinking that I never understood the power of the Nativity until I became a mother. Every mother I know, even those who do not call themselves religious or spiritual people, has shared the story of watching her newborn sleep and thanking God. A baby (especially when asleep) is grace, is hope, is the Holy Spirit. In a newborn's face, you see possibility, you see joy, you see miracles.
Now, imagine being Mary, and seeing not just God's grace, not just the spark of the Holy Spirit, but seeing GOD when looking into your son's eyes. When Mary wiped the sweat from her brow and held Jesus for the first time, she had all the normal feelings of being a new mother (jubilation, terror, awe), but I imagine she must have felt such comfort. I imagine Jesus looked at her, and being just minutes old, was able to give her peace.