Guest Post by Andrea Summers on Appreciation (Part 3 of 3): Sprouting Hope

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… What if Mary had not had the discernment to understand that the shepherd’s untimely appearance at her postpartum doorstep was more than an annoying interruption, but a divine moment? What if she had not had the foresight to intentionally preserve this moment or reflectively ponder over it as time went on? It was these treasured up moments that pushed through the doubt of death and pain – sprouting hope and appreciation.

This hopeful appreciation did not have answers yet. It wasn’t time… Mary wasn’t supposed to understand yet. The trajectory of unfolding revelation had not reached its destination and these countless moments she had preserved from extinction had not yet been brought together in her mind. She couldn’t yet fully understand the weightiness of these treasured up moments. But that day was fast approaching.

And so is mine. Soon enough God’s unfolding revelation in my life will make all these ordinary moments with extraordinary import finally make sense. God, give me the discernment to see these moments as you hand them to me. Give me the capacity to treasure them and keep them from being lost. Give me the discipline of a reflective life that makes room for these moments to resurface. Allow these simple acts to cultivate the hopeful appreciation which weathers the worst of storms.

The Gospel writers don’t include this in their post-resurrection accounts, but I imagine Jesus’ first appearance to his mother. I imagine her heart was feverishly putting all the pieces of the puzzle together – now that she had this last missing piece to add. I imagine she wept tears of joy. I imagine she fell to her knees to worship her Lord with deep appreciation.