My eight-year-old son has a Mad Hatter-ish knack for word play. A year ago a nonsensical version of Mary, Did You Know, written by Mark Lowry, began to traffic between him and my four-year-old, who repeats anything that passes his older brother’s lips.
I believe Jordan Smith’s performance of the song on The Voice last year provided the impetus. Watching Smith’s finale left me in a puddle and my son with a dramatic melody in his ear and lyrics he couldn’t hold fast.
Mary, Did You Know eventually presented an opportunity for reverence in our household. We set silliness aside and made a conscious effort to learn and share in the song’s actual first verse:
Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy would one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know
that your Baby Boy has come to make you new?
This Child that you delivered will soon deliver you.
The words are simple, but they are beautiful and the melody haunting. As a mother, when I reflect on the Christmas story and Jesus’ youth, I yearn to hear from Mary. I appreciate that this piece speaks to her and addresses her experience. It echoes the song of praise Mary shares with her cousin Elizabeth, a moment we hear Mary’s voice most clearly in the Bible. Mary said,
“With all my heart I glorify the Lord!
In the depths of who I am
I rejoice in God my savior.” Luke 1:46-47
Maybe Mary didn’t know that her baby boy would walk on water. But she knew to trust God, even through fearful circumstances, and she knew to meet whatever lay ahead with joy and hope and a deep thanksgiving in her heart
About the Contributor
Emily Crow Neely is a lifelong member of FPC. She has published articles and essays in a variety of outlets including Southern Cultures, the Spartanburg Herald-Journal and the Spartanburg Magazine. She and her husband Kam have three sons.