Let It Be
April 4, 2016
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.
I’m with Mary. How can this be? More often than I’d like to admit, I have uttered this phrase in all sorts of situations. How could they pick me? How will I know what to do or say? How will it all turn out?
I’m a master at making excuses and doomsday scenarios. I tell myself it’s all about being prepared and looking at everything from the best possible angle. In reality, it’s about looking at things from a position of fear and a need for control. No one has the advantage of knowing what’s going to happen until it happens, but we’re excellent at convincing ourselves otherwise.
From Moses to Esther, Mary to Peter, there is not a person who did not wrestle with their readiness or comfort when faced with something new or unfamiliar. Like Mary, we may look at our situation and wonder, “how can this be” thinking that what we see and know is the only thing God sees and knows. When we do so, we not only sell ourselves short, we silence the transformative power of God to resurrect the dead places of our lives. Thankfully, God does not rely on what makes sense to us to achieve the wholeness and healing of the world. God sees the beauty and goodness of Her creation in all of us. As Marianne Williamson said: Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.”
May we learn to walk into the freedom and beauty of “letting it be.”
Today, when faced with something that challenges your faith, peace, or sense of stability and control, pray the words “Let it be” as a breath prayer. Let it be a gradual entrance into God’s faithfulness and love.