It's the morning of my youngest daughter's wedding. As I was out on a walk this morning my mind wandered back to the story of Jesus' first miracle, turning water into wine at the wedding of Cana. In case you don't know the story, Mary, Jesus' mother, comes and informs him that they are running low on wine. Jesus, after a bit of a disclaimor (it's not the time for miracles yet) goes ahead and does what's requested, turning regular water in the best wine that the guests have had all night. John says, "this was the first instance of Jesus showing his glory."

Often the focus of this story is on Jesus - as it is his first miracle - but this morning Mary got my attention. Who wouldn't like a friend like her at a wedding? Either she was doing a scan of how things were going herself (perhaps she was part of the serving crew) or she was good enough friends with the mother of the bride that she could come to Mary when things were looking a bit dicey. Either way, she's my kind of person. Maybe it's because we're catering this wedding (and I wonder if we'll run out of chicken) or maybe it's because I have so many friends who are supporting me during this time, but I see Mary through new eyes. Not just as the mother of God, but as the best kind of friend you can have in an emergency.

While this past week I've spent a lot of time preparing for the wedding, I've also been in prayer for a family whose young son is in the hospital. It's touch and go whether he'll need a heart transplant, and a good friend of the family is keeping folks updated on her facebook page.

In both these situations, the problem is an excuse to go to Jesus. In my prayers I imagine Him there at the bedside of this little boy, massaging the foot that isn't getting enough blood supply, pouring energy into a heart that is shriveled and stressed, lending the grace and comfort of his presence to the parents who sit hoping and praying for a miracle.

I wonder how Mary knew that Jesus could turn water into wine. Had he done this for the family on a shabbat evening sometime during his life? I remember that He's 30 years old when this request comes, plenty of time for some of His powers to be glimpsed. He wasn't ready to go public, but Mary has a heart for her friends, and so He does what He's asked.

I'm glad for the Marys I know. And for the Jesus they know. For the times we've all seen Him do something amazing. I'm glad that I can count on Him to show up - in a hospital room and at a wedding. Bringing what we need, and showing His glory.

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