The Danger of Mary
"May it be unto me..."
Those are inspiring words. They suggest an enviable attitude-of-heart. Like I said before, oh to be gracious, like Mary long ago.
But they are dangerous words too— perhaps not for the reasons that first come to mind. (And this is a good place to express my delight over the offerings many of you are making, in your own posts and poems... offerings that delve into the wonder of Mary's resolve to face danger for the love of God.)
Anyhow, let me explain a secondary danger.
This weekend I'd planned to go to a birthday party (sorry, Sis! :), but instead lay sleeping in the grips of a nasty cold. The secret of enjoying such disappointment is to bring a few books to put beside your pillow. When you wake, you are treated to an opportunity to lie in bed, read and muse (green tea and chocolate are optional; I self-medicated with both.)
When I woke and poked through the book stack, I pulled out The Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self. Before falling asleep, I'd enjoyed the preface of The Wisdom of Wilderness: Experiencing the Healing Power of Nature, in which May had spoken of spending time outdoors to discover your inner wilderness, which is "the untamed truth of who you really are."
Upon opening Miller's The Drama of the Gifted Child, the message was the same, "In order to become whole we must try...to discover our own personal truth, a truth that may cause pain before giving us a new sphere of freedom." The truth Miller speaks of is partly to move past denying one's emotions and needs, to "experience consciously certain feelings" that childhood may have taught us it was dangerous to feel... "jealousy, envy, anger, loneliness, helplessness, or anxiety."
If we never feel these things (and many who experience difficult childhoods— or whose parents experienced hard childhoods— do not feel these things, or work very hard to repress them), we risk a lot... unexplained seasons of vengefulness, depression, perfectionism, addictions, even rage.
And this is the danger of Mary— to sit only with "May it be to me...", to interpret it as a self-effacing submissiveness and denial of needs and feelings... not to see the other side... a woman who felt free to cry, ask, mourn, fight.
I do believe Scot McKnight captures the balance of Mary's personality— the woman of feeling, fighting. There's still time to win his book; just comment here before Thursday, Oct. 8, 6:00 pm EST. The winner will be offered an opportunity to write his/her thoughts about the book in a guest post on Beliefnet!
There's also time to offer your thoughts about Mary and/or grace. Just drop your link info here and I'll link to your post. Or respond to our poetry prompt, "the real...", for possible feature and definite links from HighCallingBlogs. Drop your poetry link here before Thursday, Oct 8, 6:00 pm EST.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:
Book club discussion of The Wisdom of Wilderness, at HighCallingBlogs
Monica's Wilderness Call on the Freeway
"The Dress" sculpture by Sara. Photo by L.L. Barkat.