Tag Archives: Mary

Mary’s Robe

Mary and Joseph

White lily sepalled in blue linen, the moon and stars swaddled by sky, you sing to us of innocence and grace, of fierce obedience and the greatest “Yes,” ever given. May it be as you have said. Let the lowly come crowding in, hailing your sweet fragrance, and the rich and mighty leave with nothing. First holy host, round and glowing, we await the birthing of God’s son from you, even as we wait upon our own mustard seeds of faith to grow to fullness. May you always be wrapped in the majestic colour of lapis lazuli that adorns the throne room floor, and be fitted as the Queen of Heaven.

Text © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt  Composite art “Mary and Joseph” by R R Wyatt  © used with permission.

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167. Turquoise (colour 12)

aqua

This top of a deodorant bottle looks from this angle like a fantastical long lost dinosaur egg (okay I do have an overactive imagination, but still). Aqua has a special glow to it that speaks of healing and gentleness. It makes me think of underground caves and verdigris, and of Mary too, as my Marian prayers book has a lovely turquoise cover. Aegean seas and peace, the calm of deep waves rolling in. Softness and maybe the otherworldliness of something as yet unhatched.

text and photo © Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2017

 

Landscape of Love 91: Grotto

91 grotto-1095054_1280

Pale blue lady, aqua mantled, kindness gazing out from your alabaster face, carved deep into the rock and our hurting souls. You smile, and the world is changed. Adoring the love on your dappled skin, ripples of reflected grace, the water feels less cold somehow, though we are up to our necks; and the tide is of no concern, merely the sea breathing: in and out, in and out. A caverned womb of healing, where we might be knit together once more, and our stretched sinews feel the call to entwine and relax. We go under and rise again, replenished by the carrier of living water.

© Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2016

Photo from Pixabay

 

46: Insurrection

46 wallyir MF insurrection

But I will put hooks in your jaws and make the fish of your streams stick to your scales. I will pull you out from among your streams, with all the fish sticking to your scales!” Ezekiel 29:4

This prophecy against the Pharaoh of Egypt firstly paints the allegory of his imagining that he is the King of the Nile, a great river dragon (crocodile), and then tells him how God will bring him down. At first I was puzzled by this picture of sticky fish, but it seems that this particular Pharaoh was unseated by an upstart who had the support of the Egyptian people. The fish in the river are his people, not as he thinks, his loyal subjects, but heavy weights, maybe even a parasitic burden in this imagery.

Even kings with great power may be unthroned, and if all the fish in the river get together, they can suffocate a crocodile. Earthly prestige and power may be foiled by the actions of the powerless. Again and again God shows us that he likes to use the lowly to bring down the mighty. The Magnificat contains one of the most beautiful, heartfelt expressions of this facet of God:

He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;

he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.

He has brought down rulers from their thrones

but has lifted up the humble.

He has filled the hungry with good things

but has sent the rich away empty.” (Luke 1:51-53 NIV)

 

We should never, then, despise the poor or the humble, but rather count them as world changers and tools of God. How often has the Lord used a shepherd or a fisherman, a prostitute or a teenager to kill the Goliaths of this world? We would be better counting ourselves among those at the bottom and the edges of society, among those the world says are unlikely to achieve anything grand, for with God anything is possible, and he loves to defy our closed minds and crack open our hard hearts.

 

Better a poor and lowly shepherd boy with a stone, a teenage soon-to-be carpenter’s bride, a stuttering outcast prone to seeing fiery bushes, than a proud and arrogant crocodile, thinking himself invulnerable in his scaled hide and protected by his great jaws, who then has these imagined strengths used against him.

 

 

©Keren Dibbens-Wyattt

Photo from morguefile.com

9: Disbelieved

9 disbelieved bluekdesign MF

But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense.” Luke 24:11 NIV

Two thousand years on and women are still used to being classed as lesser witnesses. For much of history we have been branded hysterical, untrustworthy and illogical. There is something deeply painful about not being believed. Imagine how these female disciples must have felt, shamed and pained as the men dismissed them and their amazing story!  I know something of this kind of pain particularly within my chronic illness, and have had cruel and disdainful treatment from medics, health professionals and even friends.

I see the same attitude time and time again around those with so-called “invisible” illnesses that are hard to quantify or diagnose, and with those with mental illnesses or depression.   One of the kindest and best things you can ever do for someone suffering with such a problem is to believe them. Believe them when they say they can’t do something, or that it is difficult, or that they are in pain, even when it seems hard for you in a healthy mind and body to credit.

When our experience is very different from the one being related, we can be very quick to dismiss the witnesses. And if we are prejudiced and already disinclined to believe the person because of their gender, their race, their religion, if they are in some way, not like us, or not quite the ticket, our belief is likely to be still weaker.

Only Peter of the twelve, went to check out the women’s story. Don’t you think he was glad he did?  Since then, many people have dismissed the gospel message as nonsense, but God is fond of using things that seem on the surface to not make sense, things that seem upside down or back to front to teach us. He delights in turning things on their head and using the small and weak to topple the rich and the powerful. He would rather have his earthly ministry funded by a collective of women than top businessmen, and rather have fishermen and tax collectors as his pupils, than the elite of the Temple schools. He would rather announce his resurrection to a group who were unlikely to be heard, than to government officials. After rising victorious from defeating hell and death, he would rather have a barbeque on the beach with his friends than stand in the arena preaching about his triumph.

Listen. Consider. Believe.

 

©Keren Dibbens-Wyatt

Photo from Morguefile.com

156: Stable

stable mf nagygl

The tremulous glow of a new and ancient holiness emanates from a tightly swaddled package, lain in animal fodder. His mother is dumbstruck by obedient love, of the same kind that will keep him one day bound to a painful end. For what use are words in the presence of God incarnate brought forth from your own body?

Instead he speaks for us, against the accusers and the poisoned gossips. Clear and bright the telling, silencing them as he will later silence the self-righteous scribes with carefully chosen words scratched in sand. The mortifying that they, that we, want to perform, holding the stones in our sweaty hands, angered at the shadow of a splinter caught in the corner of our vision, sticking out of the plank in our own eye.

No, there is no room for our words at the inn, and here in the stable beyond is where it will come to fruition, this saying yes to the indwelling of God’s love, as all of us must do if we are to follow the star, and end sitting empty and speechless in wonder on the straw.

©Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2015