When I was 4, I was given the role of the angel Gabriel in my tiny Catholic school's Christmas pageant.  I have oddly clear memories of the shepherd-heralding angels insisting that all angels were supposed to go to the field, not to Mary.  I got confused, kept going the wrong way, and someone else got my part.

Lately I've been feeling like my place isn't quite with the other people around me, and once again, it feels hard to trust that I'm called to be somewhere else.   Adding to the confusion, I keep noticing people around me saying that our differences don't matter.  When our differences are about things that are precious to me, they do matter.  It's so hard for me to risk speaking up when I know my perspective isn't the same as my peers'.  Dismissing differences has begun to feel like brushing aside components of identity so that we all get along.  I like getting along, but I'd much rather be known and loved.  Sometimes.  When that's not too scary.

In some unbloggable ways, I can't go to the shepherds right now.  I wish I could.  The shepherds get a whole loud excited chorus of angels inviting them to celebrate.  Mary's scene is pretty unnerving.


  1. I always want to know that someone else is not going in the same direction as everyone else. Even if they aren't going my way (or nicer still, in front of me).

    Our differences *do* matter, especially as people of faith, as Christians. We are called to unity, not uniformity.

    I'll be praying for traveling mercies, Di.

  2. Hope and peace and meandering journeys

  3. If I were closer, I'd give you a hug, and a cup of tea. My prayer is not that things become easy-- I think I know you better than that-- but that you find comfort amid the challenge of the journey.

  4. Anonymous8:47 PM

    my dear one, if you're drawn to mary, then follow your heart.

    unnerving, yes, but she holds onto the knowledge, whispered to her in the dark, that she is god-bearer regardless of how unlikely and misunderstood (and different) that seems to be.... and remember, all that 'pondering these things in her own heart', not needing to throw those pearls out there to be desacralized, is powerful medicine.


"So keep fightin' for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don't you forget to have fun doin' it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through kickin' ass and celebratin' the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was."
-Saint Molly Ivins