Not sure what to write for my blog this week. It’s a mix of hard wind socking the house and the stalwart trees and the local weather people talking excitedly about how the wind could gust to 70 miles an hour and I feel the high whine of the high tension a feeling like the sound of wind in the electric wires that get to sing when the wind hits this hard. The front window facing west rattles as if it is trembling in fear that sickened oak branches might break and smash through it.
I worry about the Peterson’s tree, the one I study with my camera in all kinds of light, the one people say they love. I have stuffed plastic shavings bags in the cracks by the big barn door to keep the wind out because it finds its way into Morgen’s stall and she has no shelter and no companion to reassure her that the barn will stand strong.
When we have driven her in the wind she startles when it gusts like it is smacking her harder than my whip could lash if I laid it with all my strength on her backside. I feel her power as she arches her neck and leans on the bit. It’s my voice that slows her. I feel her power and think one day I will ask her to trot it out because her speed no longer frightens me, nor does her power. The horse is a vain hope for victory. Trust in the Lord. But the Lord is all around, the Spirit blowing where He will. He is light. That shines in the darkness. But this is not Pentecost, the celebration of when the Spirit came according to Joel’s prophecy and was poured out on all of us. No it’s Advent tumbling towards Christ’s arrival as a baby.
In Revelation the Nativity narrative has Mary clothed like Jesus, with the sun, with the moon under her feet. The moon, her footstool, her feet standing on the neck of something she’s conquered. The moon the sign of her monthly bleeding, emptying her of her ripeness, the moon that marks each month, set in the sky as a holy sign, so the people could tell time. The moon a goddess that Mary has made a footstool. And she is clothed in the sun just like Jesus.
Mary the God bearer. But the woman clothed with the sun, her feet on the moon, is also the church, the people who are bearing God, here and now. The people who face a red dragon, with horns, who vomits a river the earth drinks down.
But so often we don’t feel like we are wearing the sun. We feel tattered, clothed in rags like the priest Joshua, standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan is accusing him. And the Lord says, “The Lord rebuke you Satan.” And the angel of the Lord says to those standing before him, “Remove the rags.” And he says to Joshua, I have removed your iniquity and will clothe you with pure vestments.” And he told them to put a clean turbin on his head. (Zech. 3)
Imagine the Lord of the universe, the one who flung the stars into the void, rebuking the accuser who knows our failings better than we do, our rags stinking to high heaven, and he takes them and puts on clean clothes.
And this is the one who says he will be in our midst and will be quiet in his love, a mighty one to save, who clears away all judgements, who says don’t be afraid, a mighty warrior, who rejoices over us with gladness, who will quiet us with his love, and exult over us with loud singing. (Zeph 3:14 – 20).
I have been tempted to welcome the voice of the accuser, to put on those rags, to wallow in what I have done wrong, when I have been clothed in white raiment, as a god-bearer, clothed in the sun, my feet standing on the moon. When my mighty warrior of a God is in my midst, is quiet in his love, exults over me with song.
And the dragon tries to kill me when I am in labor but the earth swallows the river, because earth comes to our aid. And a loud voice bellows (heaven is one noisy place with thunders and trumpets and sounds like many waters) “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony for they loved not their lives even unto death” (Rev. 12: 10 – 11).
And I dreamed this week that a dark haired man made love to me and it was clean as water spilling over a cliff and I became pregnant, me, a barren woman, fruitless, and I didn’t know what Bruce would think. But it was a lesson in empathy for Mary. I am pregnant with stories and poems and a dragon is slavering to stop me, but I’ve been given wings like an eagle to fly into the wilderness, or maybe it’s the power of a devoted mare, arching her head and balancing herself in my hands, moving out in a firm trot and the earth has opened her mouth and swallowed the worm’s putrid river, and I have been clothed with the sun and the moon is under my feet, and the accuser has been thrown down.
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