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3 Secrets to Finding Mary’s Treasures

By Marlene Houk

Burke CountyMarlene Houk Burke County


Luke 1:46-55

“And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.”

When you lose a treasure, do you pray for its discovery? My friend and I dropped by her doctor for a visit, and, in the process, my right earring slipped from my ear and disappeared. I retraced my busy day, returning to the office and digging into their sofa, searching the fluff of my scarf, and scouring the car. Nothing. The copper earring with its brilliant chips circling the outside held importance as a Christmas gift from my husband the year before. I prayed, asking the Lord to show mercy by revealing the missing piece.

Several days passed. I repeated my prayer occasionally, having experienced amazing answers in the past to lost items. Five days later, my friend texted and I called her. She answered and a welcome voice warmed my chilly winter day with the news that a patient had found my earring in the parking lot and carried it to the office. What an unexpected pleasure to reunite the two earrings! My face lit with delight, and I enjoyed a rush of glee at finding my valued piece of jewelry.

My loss and recovery prompted me to reread Mary’s song in Luke 1:46-55. Her words glow with joy after Gabriel’s news that she would birth Emmanuel. She is in awe of God’s amazing favor, and, in her words, decodes an elusive message to finding the treasures of joy. I realized that recovering my earring reminded me of Mary’s story. And I found Mary’s three secrets to the riches of gratitude.

The first secret

Tell others, in detail, about your experience. I was impressed with the office staff for showing kindness. I told others the details, shared my happiness at their solicitude, and recalled their efforts to help me. Mary, the mother of Jesus, shared with others the joy and delight of her Son’s love and sacrifice. She magnified her Savior, bringing His divine might and power up close so that others could know Him.  Like a magnifying glass, Mary pointed others to Jesus with her life, her love for Him, and her legacy. The details of His love and care for Mary clear up our confusion and grief, thousands of years later. Likewise, we, like Mary, revel in the luxuries of joy as we magnify Jesus so others see Him up close.

The second secret

Allow your life to lead others to the Lord. The office staff was simply there—doing their jobs, fulfilling their training and duties. And, in the course of their career, God used them to point me to Jesus’ abundant care for me, even in the little stuff. Mary knew God’s might in her life. She joined Esther in knowing that God would include her in His plan to rescue people from sin. She surrendered to His plan for her, and God’s might flowed through her like spiritual adrenaline. She focused on His might in Luke 2:49 and her spirit overflowed with joy. Like the surge of strength when others help push a car, Mary felt God work in her life as she lived, moved, and had her being in Him. (Acts 17:28)

The third secret

Show compassion to others. The office staff busied themselves with their obligations, but they took time to listen and remember my needs. Mary experienced God’s mercy, and she spoke of His tender loving care, inviting us, through her divinely-told story, to experience His grace for ourselves. As a mother wraps her newborn babe in mercy, so we gently enclose others with compassion as we share Jesus’ gift of salvation.

I gifted the office staff with flowers and an Italian crème cake, small tokens of my gratitude for their thoughtfulness. And, like Mary, I discovered that to magnify the Lord, allow His might to flow through me, and show mercy to others would uncover a fountain of joy.


Marlene is an author and teacher of Bible studies. She may be reached at

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