In fact, according to the timeline in those same scriptures, the next time there is anything of significance to be made of th

Because I came into the practice of faith through a distinctly protestant doorway, I didn’t know, early on, what to make of the Catholic of veneration or even emphasis on Mary, the mother of Jesus. The way I’d heard the story told, Mary was almost a bystander to her own pregnancy; a tertiary figure watching the Spirit of God and a few angels conspire to bring Good News to the planet. 

Of course, like so many others, the older I’ve gotten and the more I’ve actually wrestled with God as a part of my faith experience, the more I’ve needed models and examples for what faith and faith practice look and feel like in raw human form. 

Mary’s “Yes” is a model 

and a guide to me. 
What would have happened  
if, when I was presented with my own
religious breakthrough moment,

I said something more like Mary said.

Because she didn’t leap 

directly into the story 

with enthusiasm and a smile.

She paused, like Mary Magdalene 

at the threshold of Jesus’ tomb years later.
What if I were to have said, 
“I don’t want this” 
or “I don’t think I’m capable.”

And maybe that’s how faith works?

Or maybe that’s faith, too? 
to pause and worry 

and question and even doubt.
Maybe it’s like Jesus asking people 
to extend their hands 
or take up their mats 
or wash off their faces 
in a certain body of water. 
Maybe the acceptance of the gift 
actualizes the gift moment. 
Maybe receiving the gift 

in whatever posture it is received
(because very few of those people 

“believed” in God the way 

the religiously minded mean today) 
means the gift becomes fully a gift. 


Maybe I’m wrong. 
I don’t know. 
What I do know 
is that Mary said “Yes,” 
that it cost her to do so
and that I’m thankful she did.

I’m also thankful she said “yes” 
after asking “How will that work?”
I’m thankful faith can look like saying 
“That makes no sense to me
but I’m willing to try.”

Because that’s what faith looks like for me

most of the time; 
it looks like ”Ummm… sure… yes…?”
and then sometimes long seasons 

of waiting to see
what I said “yes” to 

come to life.  

In Mary’s case, 

it was 30 years 

before the thing, she said “yes” to 
came to fruition in any way like 
the way it was promised.

I said “yes” 

to this whole faith journey thing 

about 30 years ago years now 

and I’m still saying 

“How does this work?”
I’m still saying 
“that makes no sense to me”

and I’m still saying “I’m willing to try…

May it be with me as you say.”

I am still thankful, 

perhaps now more than ever, 

that, every Advent / Christmas season, 

I get to pause briefly and remember 

that the Story hinges at one point 

on the faith and courage of a young woman 

whose “Yes” sounds far less like 

the triumphant, big-chested declarations 

of heroes and mythical figures, 

and far more like mine. 

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