I can see them very clearly. The younger one, Mary, can hardly contain her secret joy but also looks into the older woman’s eyes in search of reassurance. Mary has come to the right place. The older woman, Elizabeth, embodies confidence and courage. For, as Holly Near says in her song, 1000 Grandmothers, “An old woman holds a powerful force when she no longer needs to please.”
When Elizabeth sees Mary, she immediately recognizes the truth and from her depths there is a stirring. She and the life within her recognize Jesus, God’s unconditional Love about to be birthed into the world. Embued with Grace herself, Elizabeth says exactly the right words that Mary needs to hear. “Blessed are you among woman…blessed is she who believed that there would be fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.” In between those words of scripture I can hear her add, “Trust your intuition, listen to your body…God speaks to us in our depths…you are right to believe all things.”
When I grow up I want to be Elizabeth…powerful, wise, completely embodied, totally free and still able to give birth to something new. Like Elizabeth I want to help others find meaning in the great joys and sorrows of their lives. And even more than that I want to suspend what I know and have the unwavering confidence that nothing is impossible with God.
One of the great gifts of my life is to have known women like Elizabeth. They have sat in quiet confidence next to me in discussion groups, sharing their thoughts on the bible, faith, books they have read, and most importantly reflections on their lives. A holy wisdom seeps from their pores. Their eyes light up with inner joy. Their hearts pour forth a divine love. They embody the peace of accepting their lives and those in them as they are.
Listening to their stories, I begin to understand that they have not arrived here easily or alone. It happened day by monotonous day…moment by sometimes painful moment and with the companionship of the Divine. “Pay attention,” they share, “really savor the moment…trust yourself…be yourself…it gets better.”
When I grow up I want to be just like Elizabeth…powerful and free…creative and willing to give birth to Love within and all around me.