Saturday, December 4, 2010
Mary DID know!
This poem by Marilyn Arnold is inspiring! I often wonder what Mary thought about when she "took all these things and pondered them in her heart."
I sit here,
2000 years away,
gazing out blinded windows
trying to see--
past the dirtying snow
and the thickening fog
to that moment in Nazareth
when Gabriel came in blinding light
to a young woman
(I was once a young woman)
and said, "Hail thou art
highly favored, the Lord is with thee:
blessed art thou among women."
And then he announced that she
would conceived and bear the Son
of God, the Redeemer of the world--
that God, the Father, would father
her child, and that her child
would be her Lord and God.
Luke says she was "troubled"
and apparently afraid.
Troubled. What a burden of meaning
for a single word.
She had read the prophecies,
she knew a virgin would conceive
and bear the Holy Kind of Israel,
but she could not conceive of the event
nor of herself as that virgin.
"How shall this be, seeing
I know not a man?"
I labor to reconstruct the moment,
to fathom her mind's first incredulous
response to the news. Troubled,
Luke says. Indeed.
Why me? I cannot do this thing
Ah, God, let me sleep and then wake
to discover this a dream,
to find this angel is merely
a strange cast of light.
Insubstantial. Nothing to be heeded.
Let yesterday return, when all my mind
was full only of Joseph and our marriage.
Joseph! Ah, Joseph!
How will I tell him? Will he believe?
And then Gabriel interrupting,
answering her fear and
her stuttering heart:
"The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee,
and the power of the Highest shall
overshadow thee....For with God
nothing shall be impossible.
And she, knowing it is so,
knowing she is to be the vessel of
first deliverance, and He of second,
acquiesces, drawing strength from obedience:
"Behold the handmaid of the Lord;
be it unto me according to thy word."
"And the word was with God, and the
Word was God." And the Word
was with Mary, and then with us.
And is ever with us.
Mary, given to pondering things
in her heart, emerges in strength and surety.
I, pondering things through the dimness
of blinded windows,
take heart in messages from angels
and the new voice of woman transformed,
resounding through centuries of muffled hope:
My soul doth magnify the Lord,
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
For he hath regarded the low estate of this 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."