God sent Mary the gift of true friendship when she needed it the most.
as interpreted by Deborah
Immediately after the angel left her, Mary packed a bag and headed for Zechariah and Elizabeth’s house up in the hill country.
Arriving at their doorstep, Mary called out, “Elizabeth! Elizabeth, are you home?”
Filled with the Holy Spirit, Elizabeth ran to greet her, exclaiming, “You are truly blessed, and so is the child you are carrying.
“How marvelous that the mother of my Lord came to me! I knew, as soon as I heard your voice — for the child in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who trusts in God’s promises.”
Mary said, “My soul is infused with God’s radiance, and my spirit is alive with God’s love — for He has shown His concern for the common people. Surely in the years to come everyone will say I am blessed; for the All-Powerful has done great things for me, holy is He.
“He is compassionate toward those who worship Him, year after year after year. He is our strength in times of struggle.
“He has humbled the smug and self-righteous, and lifted up those who have been cast down; He has nourished those who hunger and left the rich to their own devices.
“He has brought aid and comfort to His people, holding fast to the promise made to our ancestors, to Abraham and his descendants forever.”
Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then went back to her home.
God is great, angels are good, but a true friend is an extraordinary blessing. In times of trouble; when we are sad, confused, frightened, or hurting, that special someone can make all the difference.
A friend can very literally be a lifeline; saving our sanity, encouraging our hope, lifting our spirit, soothing our hurts. Someone who truly cares for us will not condemn our failings or despise our faults, but will see the good in us: looking at what is right and what is possible.
A true friend is a mirror that reflects only our beauty.
Frightened and confused by what she had experienced, Mary immediately ran to her friend Elizabeth; there she knew she would find acceptance and understanding. True to form, Elizabeth did not ask Twenty Questions when the breathless girl arrived on her doorstep, but greeted Mary with words of reassurance:
“You are greatly blessed, and so is the child you are carrying.”
Imagine hearing those sweet words — as a young unmarried woman in the harsh, patriarchal world in which Mary lived. The mother of our Lord must have breathed a sigh of relief, perhaps even shed joy-filled tears; this inexplicable, “illegitimate” pregnancy was not a cause for shame or distress, but a source of great blessings.
It was going to be all right.
Elizabeth was there for Mary in her time of greatest need. She did not criticize or question, but opened her heart and her home to her friend.
In her words and her actions Elizabeth spoke for God as powerfully as any ancient prophet. Filled with the Holy Spirit, she affirmed God’s goodness and reliability: God would do what God promised, and those who trusted in those promises were blessed.
Mary was blessed.
It was going to be all right.
Elizabeth’s loving, non-judgmental welcome was a blessing bearing encouragement and strength to Mary when she needed it desperately. After hearing her friend’s words, the Mother of Our Lord dared to proclaim the hope she had held in her heart: that something magnificent was happening in the world, and she was a part of that miracle.
True friendship offers kindness and compassion, not questions nor answers; it offers encouragement and support, but no guarantees: a true friend is honest; she does not promise what can never be. Above all else, true friendship is the gift of Presence.
A true friend is there for us when we need someone to talk to — and more important, to hear what’s being said; someone to recognize the challenges we face, appreciate the efforts we make; someone who will take our part: one who will stand with us and for us. A true friend sees the best and brightest in us and helps us to see it, too.
A true friend is a gift from God.
May God grant you many friends and empower you to be a true friend to many more.
Virtual hugs and real-time blessings,
When has someone been a true friend to you?
When were you a true friend to another?