There are a million ways to say “no” to God.
Like Eve back in the Garden, we often listen to that little whispering voice telling us that we’ve been short-changed by God. “I’m not perfect enough.” “My Life isn’t going the way I planned.” “I deserve more.” We blindly take matters into our own hands, chasing things that makes us feel good right now. Born from the spirit but clothed in skin, we’re all capable of that fall. Honestly, I sometimes find it hard to be a thinking human and not know where to draw the line. It requires constant discernment.
But it only takes one “yes” for redemption. Mary showed us “Yes.”
I’m certainly not the first artist to paint the Annunciation. It’s a story that has captured the creative imagination and given hope for centuries. In a violent world, it reveals the power in the feminine quiet. It’s a story that challenges who we are and how much we really trust in God. It’s a story of a young girl, with young-girl plans, whose life was drastically altered by unexpected Divine Plans. It’s a story of God rushing in with all the force of Eternal Spring. Greatly Troubling indeed (Luke 29).
Yet Mary said Yes to God, and it seems she didn’t even have to work through the stages of grief! Maybe because her family got on board. Her parents sent her to a cousin who could comfort and support her (and get her away from village gossip!). Joseph listened to God and moved forward with the marriage. When called upon, he even fled everything he’d worked for and took refugee status. Her people stepped up. They didn’t leave her alone. In my humble opinion, that is a vital part of the story. In our politically-divided culture, it is worth remembering that supporting life as a Christian means not only letting it BE, but also not judging or withholding resources for those who face unplanned, life-altering circumstances. When it comes to Life and Love, God is all in. We should be too. We are called to family.
Be Not Afraid. I am trying.