One of my favorite classes in college was Art History. I still remember poring over Medieval pictures of the Annunciation, Mary wearing blue, sitting in an attitude of prayer, being visited by the angel Gabriel in white, both of them wreathed in golden halos.
Medieval artists placed this stunning interview in a commonplace setting, attempting to ground the supernatural in the natural world. But there is nothing ordinary about what Gabriel has come to announce to Mary. And Mary’s response is nothing short of extraordinary.
“Let it be to me as you have said.” These powerful words ushered in the coming of the Savior and the good news of the gospel.
Mary said yes. “I am the servant of the Lord.” Yes, I will make space in my life, my womb, my dreams and future plans, for God’s will. Though it cost me everything, yes, I will be generous.
What will we give?
At Women Doing Well we help women discover their Purpose, ignite their Passion, and create a Plan. I wonder what Mary’s Purpose was. Probably something related to “cultivating growth.” Her Passion? Responding wholeheartedly to God’s remarkable calling in her life. Her Plan? Say yes, again and again, giving her life generously into God’s hands for His use.
It’s our goal to encourage women to pursue whole life generosity—giving not only their treasure, but also their time and talent. This requires us to answer the question: will we, like Mary, make the ultimate sacrifice and give ourselves?
Available to God
Meister Eckhardt, 13th century mystic and philosopher, put it this way:
“There are plenty to follow our Lord half-way, but not the other half. They will give up possessions, friends, and honors, but it touches them too closely to disown themselves.”
I love Eckhardt’s choice of the word disown. When, like Mary, we say a resounding and unequivocal yes to God, we affirm He owns it all—including our lives. And when we release back into His hands what we never really owned in the first place, our generosity creates an open space that is available to God. What does God do with such spaces in our lives? He unleashes powerful gifts back to us. In Mary’s case, it was a newborn baby boy named Jeshua who would, in turn, give all of Himself for those He loved.
As Christmas fast approaches, whatever the shape of your current circumstances, may you be experiencing the joy of saying to God, “I am your servant. Let it be to me as you have said.” May you enter into the dance of receiving from and releasing back to God all of who you are. As you do so, may God surprise you with a bountiful harvest of more of Himself born in you.