I was thinking of the Annunciation, a Catholic celebration of when the Angel of the Lord came to Mary and told her of His wishes to bear and birth His son. I was thinking about how it must have been for her and how she must have felt. The quotated phrases are directly from the Bible, Luke 1:26-38.
When Mary Said “Yes!”
I lay deep in slumber, resting quietly, softly and peacefully. A window slightly ajar welcoming the Spring breeze to enter the solemnity of my home which had been bound tight from the shadow of Winter’s gloom. Remnants of stale leaves scatter and scamper, ultimately returning to earth from whence they came. A symphony of nature playing outside my window. A lullaby of sorts.
It was then that, oh so slightly and quietly, merely at trickle of sound, awoke me from my sleep. Eyes barely open and still contemplating whether awake, it was the feeling that overtook me at first. A feeling one cannot describe lest they experience the same. Fear, excitement and wonderment were all entering my small frame as I felt something was going to happen. Of what I had no knowledge, but something was going to happen nonetheless.
It was then, amidst the haze of moonlight and dust that I saw him. Sitting atop my bureau. Crouched in a pose as to indicate he had been watching me in my slumber. Fear compelled me to rise up from my position, lean forward and ensure that what I was seeing was true and real. It was then that he placed a finger to his lips and I shuddered to think what his mission was. A carousel of feelings whirling within me. With each breath, a change of emotion. At this moment, a mixture of hope and fear were primary. For in my knowledge, unworldly and guarded, I did know of angels. But having one sit atop my bureau, in my bedroom, on this night, was not an expectation any would fathom. For truth be told, I was a young, barely a teen, slight of frame and not entirely different from those of the same age. In the crowd I would not be one to stand out.
So why on this night, with all I have described to you, would an angel come to me. Why would I have this honor. Suddenly in my confustion I pondered the though that this may not be honor at all? Was this angel merely coming to take me with him. Take me to the place we all go after death. Waiting for Him to return. I fear nothing of God. I welcome Him and accept His will whatever it may be. I await his triumphant return to free us from the bondage of this earth and move on. Was I to go to him sooner than expected? Bearing all of the strength and courage I could muster, I attempted to speak. Again, a finger to his lips. Smiling and watching.
We sit looking at each other for a long while and I begin to wonder if I am in fact still dreaming. I lay my head down on my pillow and begin to believe that a dream this was as I hear a sound. It was a sound like no other I’d heard before. Melodic and beautiful. A string of hushed syllables. Barely audible, I can hear each word clearly as he who sat on my bureau watching me began to speak. Intently I listened to his words .
‘Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.’
As I explain this story to you I am confused and unworthy. For the Lord most High has chosen me, a lowly girl, to bear His only Son, is incomprehensible. Emotions flooded in I was overwhelmed.
‘How will this be,’ Mary asked the angel, ‘since I am a virgin?’
Terrified and confused, she considers this question. She has not copulated with any other. She is barely a teen and bequeathed to another. She was a child herself, being sequestered to bear a child. But not any child. The child of the God of Abraham and her people. The God of whom she prayed. Is this the God that truly asks this question? Or is this one of Satan‘s games. To send this “angel” to her, sitting atop her bureau, waking her from her slumber and posing this impossibility to one so unworthy of the task.
The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.’
As if the Almighty Himself placed a hand on her shoulder, she knew what Her path was to be. She would bear and birth this child of Himself. Unclear of the ramifications, she would accept this proposal and accept God’s will blindly and full of faith. She would do as He Himself has asked and the words she spoke to the angel sitting atop her bureau, quiet, soft and confident were,
‘I am the Lord’s servant, May it be to me as you have said.’ Then the angel left her.
Upon his vanishing from her bureau, Mary felt a tingling in her midriff. The tingling extended through her legs, out through her arms and past her fingers. Her heart heavy with fear seconds prior was now filled with an undescribable pride and love. The Lord had asked Her to do something that would change the world. He chose Her. As humbly as she could, she lay back down on her pillow. Processing what had just happened and what would become of her in the morn.
Closing her eyes, the softest of smiles on her lips, she would drift into that deep slumber when at first the angel arrived. She would dream of Him and the Hold Spirit bringing Jesus to her and knowing that in the morn, she would bear a son, she would name him Jesus and He would save the world.