I had not given her my attention before. Not like this. A fifteen-year-old girl. With plans. With dreams. With expectations for what her future would hold. Marriage. Motherhood. Caring for a home. Working alongside her community. A loyal daughter. A loving wife. A trusted friend.
She was someone to be counted on, a person whose word was her word, a person whose actions reflected her good heart. I began to imagine what it would be like to have conversations with her.
So I ask God to direct my imagination so I can speak with Mary. I want to talk with her, ask her–sister to sister, woman to woman, mother to mother: What was it like to say yes to God? What was it like to let your whole world turn sideways? What was it like to carry the Son of God in your womb?
That week, I let God help me imagine what it might have been like to be Mary, carrying Jesus in my womb, the feeling of his body inside mine as he shifted inside me. I have been pregnant five times and given birth three, and I know the miracle of life inside me, the strange and wonderful feeling of movement, a heart beating inside my body that is not my own.
And Mary, at age fifteen, carried inside her the Savior of the World. What was that like? What was it like to say yes, again and again–through public scorn, through the long journey on a donkey to Nazareth, through childbirth in a cave on the ground, through the depending on God for miracle after miracle to come true?
I talked to God about this–trying to process what seems so amazing and wonderful and crazy. How did Mary do all these things, God?
My delight was in her. I filled her. Her heart rejoiced. That made me glad. I gave her wisdom–wisdom that comes not from seeing with her eyes but with her heart. Yes, she was blessed–the world forever blessed by her obedience. And she felt my favor and my love. I never left her.
I have much goodness to be born in each person who wants it. The vulnerable see me, feel my strength, and live in them. They are made content and satisfied by my love. It only grows and never leaves. My love is for you and will never leave you, if you want me in you now and forevermore.
So each of us, Father, is invited to carry within us–and birth–the light of the world. How beautiful and incredible it is that Jesus left your side to be so, so vulnerable–born as a baby from the womb of a fifteen-year-old girl! In my imagination, I see you looking at earth, the three of you–Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit–and how you made that decision to bring Jesus down due to the root of discord–hatred, evil, pain. So many people felt unloved, removed from you, thinking they are alone.
Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit, as you watched Gabriel ask Mary to agree to carry the Son of God in her womb, did you know she would say yes? Were you excited? Jesus, what was that like for you? (Please tell me in a context that I can understand.)
Imagine giving your whole self to another and they don’t know you fully and yet they love you anyway. Because they want to love you, they decide to love you and trust you. You would be so grateful, yes?
So you were grateful that Mary said yes?
I am grateful for everything my Father has made. I love that I got to go down to earth and be born as a human. I am grateful for being born in my mother’s womb, to share that experience with you. Threre is nothing I cannot relate to or understand.
And Mary said yes to being your mom….so you felt loved by her, loved from the beginning.
Yes, I am love, and I have always been loved. By my Father. And by Mary. My mother loved me before I was born and my Father has always loved me.
So Mary saying “yes” to you was personal, not transactional. God’s love was in her, making her capable of saying yes and fully loving you. That is so beautiful and wonderful.
Yes, it is so good to be loved.
For the Loop Poetry Project, consider an experience you’ve had with intimacy–or vulnerability. How have you willingly chosen to let down your guard and trust, even though it was uncomfortable and you had no control? Perhaps you want to write from the perspective of another person’s point of view, using either first person, where you imagine you are that person, or third person, where you are an observer of the scene. Maybe you want to imagine you are Mary, or even Jesus, as a child. How do you define vulnerability? What story does your heart want to tell?
I am so honored you are here, reading this now, and I look forward to connecting with you! Please leave a comment below sharing your thoughts about this conversation with the Father and Jesus about Mary–and/or share your poem on vulnerability or intimacy. I can’t wait to read it! You can also share your poem with the gentle community of poets over in the private group Loop Poetry Project. Join here.
The little boy presses up on me
his hot body and breath what
I want to feel in the room
with chairs stacked too close
together as she reads poetry
from the front platform,
her hair wild and red and
covering her eyes like she is
embarrassed for us to hear
her words and I wonder
if I should care too
but the hot breath of sweet
air from the little boy’s mouth
distracts me as it would
any mother so really I
never hear her anyway.