But Mary quietly treasured these things in her heart and thought about them often. - Luke 2:19
A farmer’s wife, concerned about the young man who worked out in the fields, asked him, “What do you do in your spare time, John?” He thought for a moment and replied, “Sometimes I sits and thinks, and other times I just sits!” This incident occurred long before the advent of television. Had the young man lived in the television age, he might have become an accomplished “couch potato.” Few things in the modern world are more effectively designed than the TV to pass the time without the achievement of anything while cramming the mind with emptiness.
But there is a place for quietness. Silence and solitude are great blessings to the overwrought human soul. And they are rare commodities! Blaise Pascal, the brilliant French scientist and philosopher, observed, “I have discovered that all the unhappiness of men arises from one single fact, that they cannot stay quietly in their own chamber.”6
Mary, however, knew how to stay quietly in her own room. She and Joseph traveled to Bethlehem for the census that Caesar had ordered. So did everybody else whose family came from that town. As a result, there was no room in the inn, so Joseph and Mary camped out in a stable. There she gave birth to a boy and was visited by a group of rowdy shepherds who brought stories of vast angelic choirs in the vicinity. The story attracted great attention from the crowds in Bethlehem, and all the people were astonished. The town was in a state of excitement and wonder. Yet Mary found silence and solitude. She “quietly treasured these things in her heart and thought about them often” (Luke 2:19).
Blaise Pascal would have approved. And no doubt the Lord did, too. Mary was probably limited in what she could do by her new duties as a mother and by the aftermath of the birth. But she could have just sat there—staring, dazed and blank—her mind crammed with emptiness. She resisted that impulse. Mary didn’t just sit—she sat and thought!
And what momentous topics filled her heart! The shepherds had given her all the details and these she “quietly treasured.” She treasured thoughts about the child, the angels, the Messiah, the Lord, peace on earth, the favor of God (vv. 11-14), and her own role in these momentous events.
There’s a place for silence and solitude. Search for it. When you find it, don’t just sit—sit and think. Think about such things as Mary thought. You’ll find treasures for your heart.
For Further Study: Luke 2:1-20