Welcome once again to this journey back to the very first Advent season, the nine months of Mary’s pregnancy.
One of my co-workers is completing her fourth month of pregnancy. I recently asked if she had felt the baby kick yet. Since this is her first pregnancy, she wasn’t sure what that felt like but she thought maybe she had. She experienced something like butterflies moving about inside her womb, a gentle feathery sensation of movement. That private moment was one only she could feel. Her husband would have to wait for a few more weeks to pass before he could join in her excitement of feeling the baby move.
Mary, too, was only finishing her fourth month. Did Mary recognize that first feathery movement within her womb soon after she returned to Joseph in Nazareth?
When she did, Mary experienced…tenderness.
Like my co-worker, Mary had a private moment. I imagine a small smile spreading across her face as she felt that first soft flutter. It was too early for Joseph to place his calloused hand on her stomach and feel such a fine sensation. This moment was only for mother and child.
The verb “tender” refers to something that is fragile and easily crushed, like a rose petal. It is a word often used to describe God’s love for His children. Psalm 103: 13 tells us, “The LORD is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.”
Are you feeling fragile today, about to be crushed by all the cares of this world? Pause in your worries and ask your heavenly Father to set aside a private moment for just the two of you. I know that a gentle smile will light up His face as He hears your request.