The travel-worn man was a good listener.
It’s not always that way. Some travelers command the stage. They walk into a room and attract attention. Others, however, sit along the back of the room. They sit next to the quiet people. They smile. They ask gentle questions. They are genuinely curious. You find yourself opening your heart to them, trusting them somehow.
Luke likely was such a man.
Bundled in his pack, protected with his life, was his writing. Now it would be a Moleskine, a durable journal. Then, precious pages documenting his research. He gathered one kind of stories, the ones about Jesus.
Sometime in his journey, I think, he spent some time with Mary. He asked and listened.
- He heard about the visit of the angel, words that would have been seared in the memory of the young woman who heard them.
- He heard about the time with Elizabeth, the lyrics of the songs of the two women, the description of the naming ceremony.
- He listened to her talk about the trip to Bethlehem, heard the details about wrapping the baby carefully, putting him in a manger. Those are details that a mother would remember and pass on. She wanted it to be clear, she cared for this baby from the very beginning.
- He got details about the man and the woman in the temple, the seemingly random blessings of this child which made his parents marvel.
- He heard about the time that Jesus ran away, or so it seemed to frantic parents.
Luke talks twice in Luke 1-2 about Mary’s response: she treasured these things in her heart. Like any mother, she remembered the details and spilled out the treasure of her heart to someone who listened, would pass on the stories of her wonderful child. And savior.
For a video commentary on this post, watch “Luke and Mary.”