Some evenings I sit with the hubby on the couch knitting needles quietly moving as we watch television. Four rows repeat over and over to create a loved one’s gift.
Knit… purl… slip three stitches…
I come to a stopping point and hold the scarf up to admire my work when I notice something’s off. Way back, like five inches back I’ve made a BIG mistake. The right side has somehow become the wrong side. Ugh! What to do. Should I attemp to go back and fix it? My knitting friends might notice but will anyone else? I pause considering my choices.
Turns out unknitting is much harder than it seems. In the going backwards stitches are lost and there’s a chance I’ll have to start over. It’s risky and I’m not sure the undoing is worth it.
I wonder if Mary felt undone by Gabriel’s visit. As her hopes and plans unraveled in hearing angelic words did she consider the risk? Did she pause to think about what all this would cost her?
“And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.”
Luke 1:28-30 ESV
Recenlty I heard little girls like Mary were taught of the possibility they would birth the Messiah. Is it possible she understood the magnitude of the greeting? Was the prophecy she’d been lovingly taught as a child being fulfilled in her? When Gabriel called her favored did she realize the trouble it would cause?
“Don’t be afraid, Mary…,” Gabriel encouraged.
In the pregnancy waiting Mary must of have felt undone. Her plans, her dreams, her vision for life would never be what she imagined.
Advent comes with undoing.
A few seconds of careful unraveling undo hours of knitted work. I slip stitches back on the needle and begin again.
Knit… purl… knit… knit…
This is the beginning of a heart’s Bethlehem. Making a place for Him means I recognize my failure and allow God to gently unravel what I’ve done. Though it feels risky, He’ll not lose a stitch. In Him undoing is never wasted. Like Bethlehem it becomes a place for new birth.
A place where the wrong side takes it’s rightful place.
“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”
Colossians 3:1-4 ESV