Whenever I read or hear the recounting of the Annunciation the Visitation gets equal attention. The two stories are meant to be together…you really can hardly have one without the other. I have previously written about my connection with the relationship of Elizabeth and Mary. See post here: https://faithtwins.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/the-gift-of-the-visitation/
There is something I cannot get out of my mind…my friend’s name was Elizabeth and my name is one of the names used for Mary…Rose of Sharon. Don’t misunderstand me I do not equate either of us with these Biblical figures…but it is something I think about. Maybe that is to keep me connected with the Blessed Mother. In many ways my friend was the woman I would go to, much as a young girl goes to her mother. While I did not look upon her as a mother figure she was a woman I admired. I admired her for her wisdom, among other things. I valued her insight about so many things.
I think Mary rushed to visit Elizabeth; for she too had words of wisdom. Wisdom is not something you open up a book and learn. Wisdom is not something you acquire while pretending to know it all.
The dictionary says wisdom is ‘deep understanding’. Wisdom is also the ‘comprehension of what is true or right coupled with optimum judgment as to action’. My friend had insight about life that she freely shared, even at times if you were not ready to listen. If you know her you may be able to think of a few times when she told you something you were not quite ready to hear. Many times her comments to me helped me to evacuate my ‘stinkin thinkin’ if you will excuse the slang.
When Mary reached the sight of Elizabeth she was validated and confirmed for her openness to doing the will of God. My friend was a little like the angel Gabriel to me. She would affirm that I was on the right track with an idea. I miss her words of affirmation, support, compassion, and caring.
I want her to speak to me as the angel spoke to Mary. I do not want to be asleep; I do not want it to be a dream. The angel Gabriel was very real to Mary. She was awake and filled with a mixture of emotions…fear, joy, anxiety, excitement, and humility.
We had dreams of someday opening a retreat center together. We had discussed our ideas for the name, the design, and the entrance. We wanted this retreat center to be a place of rejuvenation and peace for cancer survivors. Of course all those plans have now been placed aside, the economy took a plunge and then her health hit rock bottom and now she is gone. I struggle with ‘keeping the dream alive’, not to sound cliché or trivial. Maybe I am just too old, I say to myself.
Today the homilist spoke about God wanting us to dream big, really big. He quoted from the prophet, Isaiah, in chapter 8 verse 10. This verse is foretelling ‘the birth of Jesus to a virgin and that his name would be Emmanuel’. This occurred hundreds of years before the actual Annunciation took place.
Father said more than once ‘God wants us to dream big’. So maybe, just maybe the dream of having a retreat center together is not out of the question after all.
Certainly I do believe all things are possible with God plus now my friend has a much closer connection with the wisdom of God. If it is to be that I am somehow involved in a retreat center; I pray it will not take hundreds of years to become a reality.
I feel sure, had the turn of events been different, my friend would not have let me drop our dream on the side of the road and walk away.
I ask you today to join me in praying for God to provide what he needs for those we serve. I pray for the gift of wisdom, to have a more discerning heart, for where God is leading me.
We would have had so much more fun together. Sharing our big dreams and plans; doused with a good dose of her wisdom.
I will always cherish her pearls of wisdom.
I only wish I had written them all down for my future reference.