Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Sweet Mother of God

I'm going to get religious on you for a quick minute.

If you're a Christian, or if you have a lot to do with the church, then you'll know that one of the main things we hear all the time is how we should strive to be just like Jesus. But if you're anything like me, you probably hear that and think something along the lines of, Well, I'm pretty sure I've already made a royal screw-up of that. And then you probably start feeling low and depressed, because you get to imagining Judgement day and how, when you get there, Jesus will probably be unable to do much more than stare at you with his jaw hanging. "You did... what? OUT OF MY SIGHT." This is what my imagination shows me, anyway, and it scares the crap out of me, despite knowing that it's just not true.
Anyway. Recently, I was reading a book called Plan B - Further Thoughts on Faith, by Anne Lammott. Which is a great book, by the way. And in it, she quotes poet Denise Lervertov:

She did not cry, "I cannot, I am not worthy,"
Nor, "I have not the strength."
She did not submit with gritted teeth,
raging, coerced.
Bravest of all humans,
consent illumined her.

Doesn't that sound so great? I feel like sometimes, if you're not Catholic, Mary gets put aside a little in the Christian faith. Sure, we remember her and sing a few little songs about her at Christmas, and her name gets mentioned in passing once in a while. But I feel like she's just so much more than that. And I don't think that's wrong of me - I'm not saying we should get on our knees and start praying to her, because there's nothing in the Bible that suggests we should. But, reading that poem, I got to thinking that sometimes, if being like Jesus is a little much to live up to, maybe Mary would be a good place to start.

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