She Said Yes!!

There’s something so powerful, beautiful, and special about Mother Mary.  She is full of Grace.  She treasures and ponders things in her heart.  She is the fullness of Love.  She is poetically perfect.  

Her story is a big one, bigger than we sometimes think about.  Mary has a long, and terrifying journey, before she even gives birth and long after she gives birth.  And she says yes to it all.  Which makes one wonder…what happens if she says no?  The angel appears and she has a choice.  Why did she say yes?  And what if she had said no?  What if she had not listened to “fear not” and ran away screaming and never came back?  

This led to another question.  How much did Mary know?  A beautiful Christmas song asks just that: Mary Did You Know?  Apparently, this is a big discussion and debate.  As usual, people get angry about it.  “Of course she knew, she isn’t stupid” was one particular comment.  But I don’t know.  How much could she know?  What does “you will bear the son of God and he will go on to do great things” mean?  Did they discuss that he’d turn water into wine?  Did they discuss just exactly where this story was going to end? PAUSE.  

Let’s not get stuck here.  It’s a Big Yes, either way.  I have no idea what’s really being asked of me, but the answer is yes because God asks it of me or I know this is going to be a really painful and ugly journey, but yes.  PAUSE.  And it is a full yes.  There is nothing held back.  Knowing. Understanding. Wisdom.

And we are gifted with her Beautiful Presence to the Story.  

What if she had said no?  PAUSE.  There would be an entirely different story.  Either, she held the entire fate of the story in her choice and there is no Jesus story if she refuses.  OR.  There is another who fills her role.  A different woman.  A different story.  Of course, we can also assume that God knows what is in her heart.  We can assume God knows she will say yes, even if she does have a choice.  She is the chosen one.  But it’s good to question and ponder things.  It helps our faith to grow.  It helps us to grow.  

No one has to agree with me. In fact, they shouldn’t. These reflections are here to open us up for thinking and pondering the stories we love. These are not to open up arguments or fights…maybe (maybe) a debate. But a holy debate is only helpful if we come at it with Love not anger.

I think I lean toward she had no idea what she was getting into and said yes anyway.  To me, that deepens the necessity of faith along the journey.  Not knowing and trusting anyway.  That God is there in what’s here and what’s to come…whatever comes.  PAUSE.  Her journey into the unknown is part of the human story that echoes this story.  We don’t know.  But we Love.  And we trust.  We say yes to life anyway.  

It might be easier to have a black and white path where Mary knows what’s she’s getting into and what will happen and she chooses yes. But that’s not human experience.  That not how life usually unfolds.  There’s usually a choice and a curve ball (or twenty).  There’s usually plenty of blind spots and sharp corners.  We continue to trust the path, have faith, choose and move forward.  Without knowing how it all unfolds or ends.  We choose just with what we know know at the time and with what experience has taught us to expect.  There’s no certainties.  

In so many ways, her choice reflects the human experiences we have.  We are called/asked to do/be something.  PAUSE.  We can say no.  We can run away from what we know we are meant to be doing (often we fill our lives with unnecessary “busy” and unnecessary stuff for our no’s as the great avoidance tactics).  Or we hide away and pretend that’s not actually being asked of us.  Because, it’s not angels standing before us asking us to choose.  PAUSE.  Or it’s not like the angel we imagine Mary encountering.  We have new forms of angels.  Maybe because we’d look for the candid camera crew if the Angel of the Lord appeared before us and even if we believed what we saw and heard no one else would…

Angels come in all shapes and sizes to our lives with choices and opportunities and those moments where we just know what we’re being called to do or meant to do.  Those big scary angelic choices that change our whole lives and those around us.  We can say yes and trust and have faith.  It’s usually these big yeses that bring us Joy.  Real Joy that comes of learning and growing and the hard experiences and challenges.  Happy is easy: that’s eating the cookie and buying that amazon treat.  Joy, joy is Bigger.  We know this when we truly listen and open our hearts the the choices inside.  

What happens when we run away, hide away, or say no?  Just like Mary, what happens next?  Will someone else do it?  Is there someone else who fills this role we’re meant to fill?  OR Does the work go undone?  The work we are meant to do?  Maybe the work only we can do.  However small. However big. Our Work.

It took me a while to realize that every time I didn’t do the dishes, they didn’t magically do themselves.  If I didn’t do them, I expected someone else to do them.  PAUSE.  Let’s face it, there’s only two of us in the house.  So, if I say no to the dishes, I’m either expecting Paul to do them for us or they don’t get done.  Or maybe I’m expecting the dish washing magic, which is a little much, even for me.

That may sound like a silly mundane story, but what other things in our lives are we waiting for someone else to do?  Or waiting for someone else to give us permission to do?  In the meantime, it isn’t getting done…because we said no (maybe without even saying a word).  And if each of our acts ripples and grows…have we weakened the flow of the ripples by our no?  

It is a hard journey and a really hard yes, but Mary becomes the Mother Mary we love in the way only she can fill.  Only she can fill.  Her gifts ripple and grow and extend to bring us Joy.  

We too, often have hard journeys and hard yeses, but it is through challenges and difficulties that we most grow.  It is through not knowing what might happen, but trusting that if God asks it of us, we can do it.  Faith.  Those journeys.  Those scary yeses help us to become the person that helps to ripple Goodness into our lives and beyond.  

For now, my version of the story is no, Mary didn’t really know what it all meant.  She didn’t know the pitfalls, the scary moments, the horrible moments, the Beauty, the healing, the Love.  But she said yes to the fullness of her life anyway.  She fully trusted Grace.

We don’t know.  But we can say yes anyway. Yes to the fullness of our own life anyway. Yes to Love.  Yes to our Work.  Yes to Love.  Yes to what we know we’re Called to be.  All those unknowns just make our Faithful Yeses…Bigger.  

We, too, can fully trust Grace. Mary’s big Holy Yes ripples into eternity. All of our holy yeses ripple…

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