Dec. 17, 2012
Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months, and then returned to her home. – Luke 1:56
It might have been strange for Mary to stay with Elizabeth for the first trimester of her pregnancy. It could have easily been justified that Mary was there to help her elder cousin during the last trimester of her pregnancy until Elizabeth’s baby was born. What this sentence says to me is that a special bond developed between Elizabeth and Mary.
Many years ago, I moved to Baraboo and joined a United Methodist Church. My maiden name was Deaton, which is not a terribly common name. On the day I joined the church, John and Lyla came up to me and wanted to know if I was related to the Deaton’s from Augusta, WI. I shared that I was a Deaton from Augusta. They were so excited to meet me after many, many years. Lyla had grown up in Augusta and knew my parents. She also knew that her parents and my parents had been close friends years earlier.
My folks moved to Wisconsin in the early 1960’s. They became involved in a small church in Augusta. There, they met Lyla’s parents, Frankie and Earnest. My parents were young parents with no family close by. Frankie and Earnest were the age of grandparents. They developed a special friendship with my folks and often did things together.
Years later, I developed a special relationship with Lyla and John. After I was married, Rick and I often did things with Lyla and John. Just as my parents and Lyla’s parents had a special relationship, this developed again between Rick and me with John and Lyla, even though in both instances there was at least a generation difference.
There was at least a generation difference between Mary and Elizabeth. Yet, this was not a hindrance to their relationship. It is special when this happens. Friendship is not dependent only upon age. For Mary and Elizabeth, they also didn’t let geographic location hinder them. As we draw closer to Christmas, is there a person of another generation (older or younger) that you can reach out to? In the spirit of Mary and Elizabeth, may we see what an important part of society it is to have relationships with other generations.
Lord God – Thank you for bringing people of different generations into our lives. May we value and appreciate those people who are important to us that do not live close by yet we feel a connection with. Help us appreciate and value those relationships. Amen.