As we enter Advent and prepare our hearts to receive the Son of God into our lives and hearts anew, I want to share a poem I wrote last year during this season. I was pondering the mystery of God becoming human in the body of a woman, and it occurred to me that maybe Mary’s body, like mine, was fragile and imperfect. I hope that as you read this poem you’ll join me in stepping into the shoes (or sandals?) of Mary and prepare not only your heart, but also your body, to be inhabited by the Most High.
Mary, dark chocolate hair, tinged with charcoal,
dreamy olive eyes, wide with wonder.
Mary, seventeen, pimple over the right eyebrow,
strong nose (maybe too strong?) and wide, ready smile.
Mary, able arms and hands rough with calluses
from scrubbing the stains off her brothers’ robes.
Mary, slender legs, stubby toes, and left shin scarred
from the time she was chasing a goat and tumbled over a rock.
Mary, all she is, sweetness and scrapes, blossoms and bumps,
known by God.
Mary, tender-hearted, strong, steady, trembling,
overshadowed by the power of the Most High.
Mary, the deepest places of body and soul
enlivened with the breath of the Wild, Untamable One.
Mary, surrendered, open, believing,
pondering the mystery of God growing in her being.