Thursday, September 16, 2010

But Mary Pondered

Journal for Christa—

“Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”

Pondering. What does it take to ponder? I wonder when Mary pondered. Was it as she washed out garments by a stream or as she ground meal for bread? Did she sit by lamplight mending a tunic for our Lord—her Lord? And when she pondered, I wonder just what she was thinking—what was she wondering?

To ponder—when do we ponder? I don’t wring laundry out in a stream; I toss it in a machine. I wouldn’t know how to grind meal if it was expected of me; my homemade bread is kneaded in a bread maker—dishes stacked in a dishwasher, and the notion of walking to a market would never ever seriously cross my mind.

I think Mary pondered as she went about her daily work—perhaps a much more productive multitasking than what we attempt to engage in today. I fear we’ve lost the natural inclination to ponder, to wonder, to think, to evaluate.

When I was a young mother, I think I pondered while nursing babies, while vacuuming and folding a mountain of clothes, while washing supper dishes. But, today I am rich, historically speaking, and I don’t really do many pondering tasks. I walk and that is good for me.

Pondering—a lost art of our culture. I wonder what would happen if this weekend, instead of assigning reading, I told my students to change and make all the beds in the house, to mow the lawn, to clean out a flowerbed—all without their ipod buds in their ears. I wonder what would happen. Would they ponder?

“Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Mary had much to ponder—and so do we.

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