We have known each other for a while now. We are all older, a tad wiser, and we have experienced much of life together. Years ago when we first met at work, our children were young, single digits in age, they – like us – have grown and aged. We all have sons and we had landed there a while. They are all different ages and in different stages of life. Many of our experiences are the same; we could all trend on the social media with the hashtag BoyMom.
Their sons are grown and have entered the professional world. One has been drafted by the NFL and will no doubt do extraordinary things, the other is a bussiness-man in Atlanta. I wondered if they could have foreseen what the future would hold for their own boys so many years ago. I wondered what it takes to raise boys that become those kinds of men.
“Motherhood looks different when your son outgrows you,” I thought. It saddened me to think what that was going to look like for me as my own son grows into adulthood. As I was thinking, their conversation shifted. They were talking about their boys becoming men, growing into adulthood, taking on responsibility.
My thoughts shifted to another mother of a son. Another Boy-Mom
A young virgin, who was blessed and chosen among all the women to be the bearer of the long awaited Messiah, she would give birth to a son and he would save His people from their sins. Could she have foreseen all that the future would hold for her own boy?
I always ponder on her this time of year. I was doing just that, imagining her wrapping her baby boy in swaddling clothes, lying him in a manger, tired, weary, elated, and unsure; pondering in her heart what it meant to be this boy’s mom, when the Preacher Man caught my attention.
“You know why the shepherds knew right where to find Him in a town packed to the gills with people who’d come to town for a census?”
It was a rhetorical question I knew, but I realized I did not know why. I’d always figured it was the star, or the… well the innkeeper let the cat out of the bag… maybe it was the… well… I didn’t actually know how they knew, I had never once asked myself that.
“Those shepherds weren’t just any ol’ shepherds, they were the keeper of the sacrifice.” This part I knew, the Bethlehem shepherds were responsible for rearing lambs to be sacrificed in the temple. Those sheep were special, they were to be blemish free perfect lambs to be sacrificed for the sins of the people.
The Preacher Man answered my question for me.
“Those lambs were special. They had to be perfect so they were wrapped in swaddling clothes at birth and placed in a designated place of safety, like a manger, so as not to hurt themselves from thrashing around at birth. There was a place that was done, those shepherds woulda known where that was when those angels announced it.”
All my life I’d missed it, I can about quote this one from memory
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:11-12
I had missed a little word, sign. There it was, written out in scripture – the how they knew.
That new mother, that ultimate boymom, had used what she had available to calm and quiet her little one. The Baby born that would change the world. That once and for all sacrifice for the sins of His people, the sins of His Mother, and the Sins of you and me. She likely couldn’t have known nor understood what was to come, what we have the perspective of history and scripture to know, but she was obedient and faithful beyond her seeing and that is all that was required of her in that moment. As time would unfold she was, and is, the ultimate Hashtag Boy-Mom.