“Here am I”

Since I’ve heard the story of Mary’s anunciation at least three times this month, it rings loudly in my ears.  It could be that last year all my ears could hear was the “holy s**t!” factor Mary must have felt, the “you-want-me-to-do-what?”  This year, however, I was given the opportunity to truly listen to the story, and like doing deep dream work, I was able to close my eyes and enter the story, the scene, the characters, and the energy present on that holy night.

I could feel the dry desert air in Mary’s mouth, in my mouth, the sandy breeze.  I could feel the weight of the day but the relief that comes when all that can be done is done, and it’s time to rest.  There’s stillness and a quiet acceptance of what is.  Then there’s this overwhelming encounter with an angel?  Could that be what that was?  Did anyone else see?  Did anyone else hear?  Could the racing of my heart be betraying me?  Have I not just heard a commission from God through one of His glorious angels?  Didn’t I just accept the call to be a mother to the child of God, me a young innocent?  The curious look from a neighbor makes me question, but my heart assures me it is true.  True, also, was the look of awe, sympathy, and adoration on the face of the angel, in his voice.  Returning to the stillness of the night, it was like a dream, but now my life is changed forever more.  I cannot know the depth of this responsibility, what it might fully entail.  I just know that in the moment, in the presence of what is Holy, I knew I could make no other choice, for “Here am I . . . servant to the Lord.”

Then I realize that the anunciation of Mary is quite similar to our own stories when we are answering a call that aligns with God’s will.  Often it comes to us when we least expect it, when we are still and accepting of the present.  But it could be when things seem most in chaos.  When we hear that tumultuous stirring in our hearts, experience the ecstatic joy of co-creating with God, we know we are where we are meant to be.  What comes down the road, we may not know, but we continue in faith and trust and hope.  Most importantly, we continue in Love.

I don’t know anyone personally who has had the clarity of purpose as Mary, through an angel’s visit.  If you’re like me, you would welcome an angel’s visit telling you what to do, what God wants you to do.  But it seems even as it seems harder to hear God’s voice these days, God’s trust in us is just as present, if not moreso.  God seems to trust each of us that Jesus was enough to teach us how to be in relationship not only with each other but with God as well.  And example after example in the Bible shows us people, servants to the Lord, who are simply present, hear a call and respond, “Here am I.”

May we be that strong, that trusting, that faithful.  May the joy of the season inspire us.

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Angels Around Us

Rush, rush, rush.  After a slow morning, rushing is what we were doing to be out the door in time for my meeting.

“What’s that red thing?” Avery asked as I opened the door and closed it again to unlatch the lock.

What red thing?  I thought in complete disregard, maybe even annoyance, grabbing miscellaneous item and fifteen thousand bags.  That’s what it felt like, anyway.

I opened the door, and there at the doorstep was a drum-like basket, fluffed with red tissue paper, containing oranges and holiday mini-snickers (my favorites!).

I looked around at the other houses.  Did they have baskets, too?  Not that I could tell.  I dropped a few bags and set the basket on our entry table, quickly scanned for a card and decided I didn’t have time to wonder about it now.  Off we went.

When we returned home hours later, the basket still remained.  The kids ran around playing, and I decided to further investigate this holiday mystery.  I felt to the bottom of the basket, below the tasty goodies, and there was paper.  Between red paper was a card for my “sweet” family.  That alone melted my heart.  When I opened the card, hoping to find a name for this kind soul, all I found was money.

I couldn’t cry, for it was too rich a blessing, too kind and good.  I could only smile in disbelief.

Surely the spirit of Saint Nicholas prevails, alive and well.  I only I hope I live to return the blessing to others in the future.  For now, I give thanks to our angel.

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