Waiting Turned to Witness

Waiting Turned to Witness

When the Word became flesh,

it was the women 

    who knew what expectation meant—

the circle begins as it ends

in the witness of women.

Zechariah heard but bent like a bitter reed, and

was reduced to scratching

out his son’s name in cowed obedience.

It was Elizabeth who bloomed

    as God’s pledge became her promise.

Years of waiting fell away in an instant.

Joseph dreamt, 

absorbed the news of the holy 

without a word. Mutely

he put his shoulder to the wheel,

    while his beloved wove her rebel song

like a garland. This choice was not his.

It was Mary 

who answered Gabriel’s thunder with assent.

After pondering

    how this could be? nonetheless affirmed

“Let it be for me

as you have said,” knowing 

the costs of sacred favor were immediate. Striding 

into the horizon torn wide

as full partner and God-bearer, Mary held

joy and pain in equipoise, resolute.

She hailed Elizabeth 

    exulting, and together

    they were willing to inhabit

    what others called impossible:

the manifestation

of holy wisdom as wholly human,

    vulnerable, radiating mercy.

Waiting turned to witness:

    Sleepers awake!

    God is among us

        pulling down the thrones of injustice,

    filling the bellies of the hungry

    slaking those who thirst for hope. 

Zechariah took notes 

in another room, gratefully.

In time fulfilled, even as the stars danced close,

and strangers followed her song on the breeze,

Mary brought forth eternity

yawning and burrowing

    into his mother’s breast

at his longed-for arrival.

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