Thanks to friend and performance artist Sharon Pavelda for letting me share her Advent poem.
Advent is Scary for Me and the Virgin Mary
Silent night, holy night,
Christmas Cards make it look “just right:”
Calm Madonna, sleeping child,
Even the animals are reverent, mild.
Yet during this Advent, grief lies deep
As world-wide violence makes me weep.
Unjust verdicts, consumer greed,
Corrupted governments that ignore real needs.
We try to make peace
with bright lights, plastic holly,
While our marketplace screams
“Go faster! Be jolly!”
Oh Calm, Serene, Unfrazzled Mary,
Weren’t your days unsettled, scary?
Occupied country, tax demands,
Hard pregnant ride through dangerous lands.
Did you feel fear? Weren’t you weary?
The shelter you found, was it drafty? Was it dreary?
The angel said God’s Child you’d see
But childbirth never comes pain-free.
Yet centuries later, Botticelli paints
and forgets to draw the sweat on saints.
It’s scenes of posed peace and perfection we see,
Yet my reality is what transforms me.
For Christ was born a tender human
In the midst of killing strife
And is being born each day
In this heartbreaking, turbulent life.
Christ’s the giver of a peace
That even death cannot bury!
It’s my miracle now
As it was for you, Mary.
Copyright © 2014
Photo: Mary and Joseph stop at a rest oasis on the journey to mantel manger.