Mary's Thoughts (The Shadow of a Cross)

Over the stable shone a star
Which guided Wise Men from afar,
And Shepherds who heard angels sing
Had come their homage too to bring.
But all around a shadow lay
Where Jesus rested in the hay.
It was the Shadow of a Cross,
Signifying death and loss.
In Mary's heart it struck a chill
As she looked at her Child so sweet and still
She thought of the Promises God gave
That her Son would be the One to save
His people from their sin and shame -
To fulfill those prophecies He came -
Messiah Who had been foretold
By men of God from days of old.
But How, thought Mary, can it be?
What means this shadow of a Tree?
How can this helpless little Child
Redeem a people so defiled?
What awesome and yet wondrous plan
Does Jehovah have for fallen man?
Dear God, I may not understand
The marvelous workings of Your Hand,
Why I should be the one to bear
Your Holy Child and thus to share
In this Immortal Mystery,
That will go down in history.
Nor why, although I have such joy
To hold my first-born, precious Boy,

Is there a shadow 'midst the Light
That hovers round us all, this Night.

But even if this finite mind
May never all the answers find, To face the future, Lord, I must
In Thee place all my simple trust.
I feel the warmth of Your Great Love
Which sent this Child from Heaven above,
And this one thing I surely know,
Where're my future path may go, In sunshine, or the vale of woe,
You will be ever at my side,
My faltering footsteps still to guide.

And even if it someday lead
To where my Son must hang and bleed
Upon a cruel Cross some day,
You'll not be very far away.
Unto me You will give grace
And thus may I the future face,
Knowing Your Almighty Plan
Is for the salvation of man.
For as to altars lambs are led,
There is no pardon till blood is shed.
So, Father, I do now believe
And trust that we shall all receive
Salvation and a Heavenly Birth
Because this Child has come to earth.
Though I may not understand your ways,
My soul shall sing your wondrous praise!

Honoria A. Groves