A Widening Light: Poems of the Incarnation, edited by Luci Shaw, is one of my favorite collections of poetry, and the one I hold close during Advent. This is my favorite poem of the collection, penned by Madeleine L’Engle:
This is the irrational season
When love blooms bright and wild.
Had Mary been filled with reason
There’d have been no room for the child.
I loved these words from the first reading, when I was young and single and without any desire for a child. The image of love blooming in irrational soil, the season of Advent, captivated me. And then we adopted my daughter – and the meaning blossomed beyond my wildest dreams.
I recently wrote this small reflection on the poem for SheLoves Magazine:
This poem speaks of Mary’s child, but also my own. My daughter, when I first met her in Burundi one sweaty summer day, carried the heavy diagnosis of AIDS with every breath. The decision to bring her home seemed utterly irrational. Had I leaned on good reason… there’d have been no room for her in my heart, maybe no room for her anywhere else, either. I thank God love does bloom bright and wild, that love creates room where logic doubts there’s enough. Sometimes a poem is both biblical and autobiographical…this is one.
This month the women of SheLoves are reading through A Widening Light together. We are also sharing our own reflections along the way. Please consider joining us… there is a link-up provided so that you can can share in the glow of Advent with us.
I remember the first time I read Madeleine’s poem. It stopped me cold. Still does.How often do we reason away God? Scary thought.