Mary, did you watch him Breathe?

bekah General 1 Comment

We arrived back at our cottage hours before midnight. After a child-wonder weekend in Arizona – riding the Polar Express Train, throwing snowballs, creating snow-angels, visiting the North Pole – us lucky adults were so tired but still pinching ourselves at the excuse to chaperone boys on such an experience. (Thank you Mimi for a Christmas gift of memories and magic).

polar express

snow angels

polar mimi

ty train

Now home, Bry and I were like giddy kids snuggling into our cozy flannel sheets. Our bed! We couldn’t wait to sleep in our own bed, when suddenly wham! Our bedroom door flies open and Ty appears at the edge, wheezing and coughing – an asthma attack in full force.

May I remind you this was not how the night was supposed to end. I wanted quality time with my man. Instead, I rolled over to scoop Ty next to us and for minutes that stretched into eternity, Bryan and I simultaneously held then exhaled our breaths as Ty strained to breathe.

His asthma attack isn’t our first rodeo. Since a babe, it’s been his thing. Mild coughing to uncontrollable air-gasping in .2 seconds. It’s a blast, lemmetellyou. We know all the local ER nurses, doctors, and our neighborhood firemen thanks to his midnight attacks.

Into the bathroom we go.
Door closed.
Hot shower on.
Breathe in, Ty. Breathe in the steam. Jesus, Help.Ty.breathe.
I rub our son’s hair. Perching on my lap, his eyes are closed, his hands clasping mine. Breathe.

We wait for steroids and breathing treatments to take affect. Bry piles blankets on the office floor and sets up the humidifier. Flanked on both sides, we watch our son search for air.


Mary, did you know? The lyrics come sudden.
Mary, did you know? Lying next to Ty, I look up at his small mouth, seek the rise and fall of his chest, Mary did you know sings on repeat, an image slowly dancing behind my eyelids.

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.

Mary, did you know?
Mary, did you watch him breathe?

I’m sure Mary did the same for her boy, Jesus.
The moment we bring babes from the hospital or welcome them into our home we watch. We look down at their blanket-swaddled bodies and study their features. We wait for small breaths, those tiny life puffs.
Inhaling. Exhaling.
Oh, the hours Mary must have fixed eyes on her son’s breaths.

Later as a boy, was Jesus sick? Did he too gasp for air? Did she scoop him into bed with her and Joseph, calm his chest, and look beside at his mouth? Did she know how cherished, how counted his breaths were?

I can’t help but think of his final hours, a mama at her son’s feet, gazing up at Jesus’ face, holding her breath as he searched for his next. Did she know?

Did she know how sacred and holy and human those precious breaths were?

As Bryan and I border our boy on a makeshift blanket bed, the humidifier blowing into his lungs, I take solace in knowing thousands of years ago, a mama watched her own son breathe as a baby. As a boy. As a man.

I’m confident she did, indeed, know and counted each breath precious. Valuable. A gift.

Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary, did you know
that your Baby Boy would one day rule the nations?
Did you know
that your Baby Boy is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
The sleeping Child you’re holding is the Great, I Am.

Comments 1

  1. Bekah I’m so hoping that everything settled in his little body and he was OK. It is so hard to have a child with asthma. I am glad that you found peace in the lyrics of that beautiful song and had a moment to share with us your real life struggle and dependence on Jesus. Praying that you all get lots of time to catch up on sleep and that you and your hubby can have some uninterrupted time together!

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