Monday, December 13, 2010

Preparation

This is from a wonderful site called Following the Star, which I have been visiting each day of Advent.
Where do we turn when life seems upside down? Usually we go to someone we trust, who has been there. The angel had told Mary about Elizabeth’s miracle, so it makes sense that she went to see her. Elizabeth was perhaps the only person who would believe her, understand and celebrate with her. Mary probably expected a warm welcome, but this? Imagine what Mary felt at Elizabeth’s greeting; overwhelmed, but surely relieved as well. 
Elizabeth’s declaration confirmed what the angel told Mary. She knew immediately that she didn't have to explain anything or try to convince Elizabeth. Elizabeth was rejoicing with her from the first moment. Mary stayed with Elizabeth for several months, with lots of time for conversation and processing, and lots of time to prepare for going home with a visible pregnancy. This time was crucial for Mary; it strengthened her for the road ahead. Elizabeth was another divine gift to Mary. God provided a confidante who loved her, validated her experience, shared her joy and helped equip her for the difficult days ahead.
Amy Derrick
What this made me think of was time when I need to  go into seclusion, when I need to hole up with a friend or family member to gain strength for fights ahead. It's yet another version of the waiting, the *advent* for birth. While the virgin birth isn't a new story by any means, it's a poignant one. It makes us think about babies and birth, about inevitability and "what must happen." After all, once you're pregnant, it's ALL waiting. There is no stopping it, short of violence. You wait, you grow, you internalize, you meditate and mediate. Whether it's the birth of a child, or an idea, or a painting or song or novel, matters not one bit. Birth is birth, and it's sometimes painful, often messy, and yet at the end of it it brings such great joy amidst the tears.

Blessings to all.
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