Posted by: smstrouse | December 16, 2016

With God in Our Bellies


I’m sitting in one of my favorite coffee shops, trying to figure out what to make of Christmas this year. Granted, there’s trouble in the world no matter what season of the year it is. But this time we’re in right now seems  especially grim. As we prepare ourselves for a nightmare administration, the likes of which we’ve never seen before, it’s so easy to fall into despair.

In the background, the ubiquitous Christmas music continues. Bing Crosby is singing “Silent Night” and I want to scream,  “They’re committing war crimes in Aleppo, you idiot!” Then I read this poem on It’s by Jim Burklo, Associate Dean of Religious Life at USC and it’s what been speaking to me today much more powerfully than a silent night. I mean no disrespect to Jesus or his birthday, but right now it’s his mom giving me hope.

God in the Bellymqdefault
Full of God, full to birthing,

Mary howls: head back, hair tossed,
Hands skyward with joy
That wrongs are about to be righted,
Salvation’s about to be sighted.
No more groveling for crumbs of charity:
She pronounces justice with crystal clarity.
She’s done waiting for the concentrated wealth of the 1%
To trickle down magically to the other 99.

virgin-mary-stylized1The Santa System is stuck in the chimney;
And she won’t be burned by it again!
A new kind of Christmas is coming –
To undo the dogma of domination,
Snap out of blame-the-victim hypnosis,
Chase money-changers out of the temple,
Redistribute the common wealth,
Restore power to the people,
And send the Religious Right empty away.

With one magnificent rhetorical swing,11557918553_242c2d054b_z
Mary bats the political center into left field.
Pundits fumble, talk-show hosts mutter,
Super-PAC donors quiver, campaign strategists stutter:
Mary out-Magnificats them all.
So let’s get in her line and carry her sign
And holler and act as if we, too,
Have God in our bellies!

And just to be clear: this isn’t only for pregnant women. I’ve never been nor will I ever be pregnant. This Mary, prophetic and fierce, is for every gender. And her time is now!

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