Then Elizabeth, filled with the Spirit,
said that you would be blessed among women,
but we struggle to see you here, Mary,
though we long to take part in that blessing,
in the God-bearer’s loving and knowing.
Come and teach us your gift of commitment:
“Let it be with me as God is saying.”
It is hard to relate to you, sister,
for our images do you no justice:
there’s Miss Anglo in blue with a halo,
or some icons surrounded by gilding
with your lap as a throne for the baby,
or the glass that is clear for the God-light
with no stain of identity showing.
Yet the Word is, we’re made in God’s image:
our uniqueness can honour the baby,
with diversity given as blessing.
We are all of us chosen as you are
to be pregnant with God growing human,
and your brave “Let it be” is not passive,
but an act of inspired co-creating.
Mother Mary, as woman we need you:
giving birth in a non-sterile stable
with no mid-wife but animal females –
an old ewe or a nanny goat, watching
as you labour in straw for your young one
with the mess and the primal expression
of the pain and the wonder of living.
How we need your intuitive wisdom!
Let our hearts learn from you how to ponder,
how to cherish each sign of maturing,
every insight and graceful unfolding.
You’re our model for motherly loving,
as your child becomes leader, then victim,
and you’re there for him, dying and rising.