Author’s note: I have quoted and paraphrased liberally from Ann Voskamp’s blog at http://www.aholyexperience.com/2014/10/dear-daughters-why-women-dont-need-to-freeze-their-faces-or-their-reproductivity-the-fluid-beauty-of-a-one-piece-life/. All quotes not from the Bible are from Ann Voskamp.
Dear Ann, I like your work. I really like your work. You have a way with words that boggles the mind and settles the soul. Your insights can be astounding, and it’s clear as day they’re the ripe fruit of prayer. Thank you for that offering.
That’s why I was thinking when I read your blog the other day: “there’s no way this blog could fail to mention the mother.” I’m referring to the blog of October 24 entitled “Dear Daughters: Why Women Don’t Need to Freeze Their Faces or Their Reproductivity: The Fluid Beauty of a One-Piece Life.”
I kept thinking as I read your words that you’re leaving something out. More accurately, I thought, you’re leaving someone out.
You wax eloquently about womanhood and silvery splashes and white light, but you fail to mention the woman. The one who’s noted from beginning to end, and in between the spaces:
I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers. He will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel. Genesis 3:15
Dear Ann, you inspire high ideals, and I appreciate that. You tell us: “My life is going to be about being a bringer of water,” which I admire, too. But, there it is—the question. Which woman was the bearer of the water for which we thirst? Who brought forth the water that alone can satisfy? And how does she go unmentioned?
Dear sister in Christ, please let me say that when you write that our daughters “watch us wait and struggle and be broken and believe and not shirk back,” I want to tell you that you’re describing Mary, the mother of Jesus. And oh, how we need her now. More than ever, this world needs Mary’s example of womanhood. We crave the shining light of the most blessed woman ever (Luke 1:42).
She, too, walked up a hill in the sun, right before the world went dark at three, and she stood at the foot of the Cross. Yes, she stood—she did not abandon the Son of God—because He was her Son. She had grown the bones of His spine, and her blood ran like a river right through Him so she could live—so we can all live—“open, fluid and willing.” More open, fluid, willing than hers this world has never known. Just listen:
Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to to me according to your word. (Luke 1:38)
It was her willing that brought forth the universe’s greatest gift.
And the word was made flesh, and dwelt among us. (John 1:14)
Ann, your words pierce our hearts, dear sister, because they nail the truth. You’re spot on when you say that “every daughter needs to know that when she speaks her Father’s mind, His heart—she makes even now and this place into her Father’s world.” May I beg mention of our mother, who bore in her flesh the incarnation of the Father’s mind? Who birthed the Word Made Flesh into this world and made this place, at last, into the Father’s world? And the last thing we hear her say?
Do whatever he tells you. (John 2:5)
Because she’s that woman, whose concern affects Him so much that it begins to reveal His glory (John 2:4,11).
Dear Ann, how right you are when you say that we women fret and freeze and fragment, and this world scatters us hard. And that we need the example of a One-piece Life where all is holy and, may I add, where it all flows together into One Seamless Body—to the One who came from her body. Child, please behold your mother.
I must ask: What wounds have made our faith so profoundly disconnected from her? What “has left us with (such) painfully disjointed and fragmented and compartmentalized” faith that we can talk of Christian motherhood without a mention of the mother.
Surely, it was not God’s idea to throw the mother out. Because she’s the woman, who “gave birth to a son, a male child, destined to rule all the nations.” It was the serpent that “pursued the woman…and spewed a torrent of water out of his mouth…to sweep her away with the current (Revelation 12:5,13,15). Lean in close, as you say. Can you see it? He’s the clown that emitted the current that ushered out our mother.
Dear sister, you summarize it perfectly: “Let us not tear apart the daughters from their mothers.” After all, His last instruction, just before it was finished:
Behold, your mother. (John 19:27)
For each disciple whom He loves, the words are still the same. Behold, your mother. Take her into your home. Welcome her into your heart. She is “wrenchingly beautiful…like an ageless offering into the light.” And she is not to be missed. Especially, dear sister, when the wounds of this world have left us bereft of a mother.
Behold the woman, dear Ann. And watch the current change directions.
To Ponder: Do I have a strong devotion to Mary? Why or why not? Have the wounds around my relationship with women made it harder to embrace Our Lady?