by Elizabeth Eybers
An angel was the bearer
Of that joyful tiding, and you
Responded with a hymn of praise,
Mary, young maid from Nazareth.
When Joseph thought of deserting you
And suspicious neighbours peered out at you
Did you, I wonder, ever think that one day
He would bear the shame of the entire world?
As you pensively smiled, laying your hand so lovingly
on your swollen form; did you, I wonder,
understand the depth of love and fear
with which He was to embrace His Passion?
That night in the stable, with no one
To stand by you in your hour of need-
Did you know then, I wonder, that
He would one day enter Gethsemane alone?
When the Magi arrived from the East
Humbly paying homage, did you, I wonder,
Know the manner in which the soldiers
Would one day crown Him king?
And when he lay in your arms,
His little mouth against your full breast.
Did you, I wonder, know that He would say,
when it was too late, “I thirst!”
And when it was all over, and you
went home with His friend John.
Mary, Woman of Sorrow, did you, I wonder,
Then fully understand the message.
As a young teenage girl I was introduced to this poem which had been written in Afrikaans by one of our acclaimed poets, Elizabeth Eybers. I was deeply moved by this piece then, and whenever I read or reflect on Luke’s account of the Annunciation, I find myself drawn into asking those same “I wonder” questions that were elicited when I first read that poem.
As we all prayerfully consider our response to the call which assuredly will come to each one of this Lent, may we respond understanding from Mary’s example, that it will involve sacrifice, heartache, even pain and suffering. May our response be as Mary’s: “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.”
The Reverend Sharron Dinnie
Founder and Rector, Kwasa College
Appointed readings for today: