Godde is shocking and if you aren’t shocked by Godde then you haven’t been paying attention.
Since forever the clash of the religious has been between piety and justice. Righteousness and goodness. Godde always strains towards the people we reject, devalue, or dehumanize. Or should I say ‘demonize’ ? And then she goes and does something radical by inviting the people one least expects (or likes) to be Godde-with-us.
Like women. Like foreigners. Like children. Like the outsider and the oppressed.
Can you see Mary, mother of Godde-with-us, in the picture above? If not, then maybe you have been looking in the wrong places. Morality doesn’t lie in transcendence (the way Mary is usually depicted), it lies in the gritty choices of everyday life. Is what I’m doing benefitting only me or is it in service to the greater good? Do I choose to make money over clean water and air? Fair wages? Accessible healthcare? Does my vote reflect not only my interest but also those of the most vulnerable among us? Do I place more value in the humanity of a person than their adherence to my sexual, gender, or cultural norms?
These are the questions we need to be asking. These are the concerns to which Mary calls us to when she is overcome with thankfulness and sings an ancient song of liberation and freedom:
‘My soul magnifies our Godde,
47 and my spirit rejoices in Godde my Saviour,
48 for She has looked with favour on the lowliness of her servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is her name.
50 Her mercy is for those who hold her in awe
from generation to generation.
51 She has shown strength with her arm;
and has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
52 She has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
53 and has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.
This is what counts as shocking to those who believe that their religion saves them from eternal damnation or that the amount of money they have amassed shows that they are favored by Godde. Which, in a way, is seductive because it gives the impression that we are in control. If I remain a virgin till marriage, don’t come out, don’t transition, don’t smoke, don’t drink, don’t curse, don’t wear make-up… then I can control my fate. But piety never protects us. Instead, it sets up the juicy conundrum that men can both objectify and abuse women with impunity. In the name of God.
Godde calls us to revolutionary actions not pious acts. Mary is overcome by Godde and her response is to give voice to Godde’s call for liberation and freedom.
In these days when we look for Godde-with-us, check out the places you don’t usually look and the people with whom you don’t feel comfortable. Women who are pushy. Immigrants. #Me, too. #Black lives matter. They are doing the holy, revolutionary work of Godde.