19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. (Luke 2:19)
I love this verse. These words create a beautiful picture in my mind.
Even though Mary had much to complain about, or find difficult, she managed to look around and discover treasure in the form of blessings. She was able to keep the ‘treasure’ by noticing the happy memories of her experience, and then tucking them in little pockets of her heart and mind.
In my experience, our hearts (or wherever we imagine our feelings to be) can be the most fragile parts of us. We sometimes refer to a ‘broken heart’ when faced with a painful situation, such as the death of a loved one. Or we might say ‘my heart is full with joy’ when a particularly happy event takes place, like the birth of a baby for example. It is this fragility of our hearts that led me to think of the verse in the Bible, “We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.” (2 Corinthians 4:7). I’m also reminded of the song by Hillsong called ‘Broken Vessels’1. Clay jars don’t make particularly appealing vessels for treasure, do they? They’re far too fragile for a start. But if, like Mary, we were able to tuck our good memories (treasure) in the pockets of our heart, which sometimes seem to be the most fragile and broken parts of us, then perhaps we can also let God set His treasure in us too. If we are able to let Him in we won’t be His only vessels, but part of a large collection of ‘jars of clay’. Lots of jars, all different sizes and shapes. Each one unique. Each one broken; being made whole and complete. Each one with cracks of brokenness which, ironically, are perfect for His light to shine through. Each crack telling a story of having survived something painful. Today, I pray for myself the words from the song ‘Broken Vessels’ – “so take this heart, Lord. I’ll be Your vessel. The world to see Your love in me”. I wonder whether you might like to pray something similar for yourself too?
1 A Hillsong Worship song, written by Joel Houston, Jonas Myrin. Here is a link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxPEH2Il8cM