The sound of rain drops hitting the darkened window next to me were the first signs of life outside of myself this morning. Overnight the weather turned, from 83 degrees and mostly sunny yesterday to an expected high of only 57 degrees today and a rainy start.
How quickly things can change.
I spent a little time this morning thinking about Mary and how quickly things changed for her, how a conversation with an angel completely disrupted and altered the path she was on and where she was heading.
Can you imagine the changes for her?
Can you imagine the conversations held behind her back?
Can you imagine the ones she had with her close friends, with her parents, with Joseph?
Can you imagine the losses, the people no longer interested in her or being in relationship with her?
Can you imagine how it felt to know people thought she was lying.
Can you imagine how it felt to be a disappointment?
Can you imagine?
Mary became a scandalous woman, really a scandalous young girl.
I can imagine some of what it might have felt like for Mary, but only if I sit long enough to remember and feel where the context of my own story has left me feeling those things.
And, I suspect she never, ever was free from that story. It shaped her and changed her and the community she was from never forgot. She lived the rest of her life with the lingering scent of scandal, suspicion and rejection.
And, she had the most amazing experience of intimacy with God.
The words remembered and recorded in scripture as hers in Luke 1
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.
For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant;
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.
For He who is mighty has done great things for me,
And holy is His name.
And His mercy is on those who fear Him
From generation to generation."
Today I can feel the invitation to chose to lean into deepening intimacy with God, remembering that He has done great things for me. That if a young girl can chose to turn her face towards Him and say "Yes" to His call then I can do the same. If she could hold her face in the presence of accusations, disappointment, rejection and being misunderstood so can I.
If following God and being considered scandalous is the invitation then my answer is yes.