Today’s reading from Matt. 2 in the Divine Feminine Version of the New Testament (DVF) reminds me the beatific Christmas story erupted quickly into a murder plot.
King Herod hoped to use the wise men to kill the baby Jesus, the future king. This is the kind of fearful immoral grasping I sometimes think of as power; it’s what my 9-year-old son is dealing with now. I hear him yelling guttural dramatic cries now as he jumps on the trampoline outside, acting out scenarios of evil winning.
We have recently taken him out of school because of a bullying situation. An older girl told and showed him many gory stories, and threatened to kill him in various ways if he didn’t watch her stories on an iPad. She tried to kill him once by putting a paper clip in his smoothie. He believes now that she could show up at any time or place.
Like Mary and Joseph returning to a place associated with exile, Marshall is home again isolated from his small community. He feels angry at grown-ups, for our failure to protect and our failure to bring justice. He is not too sure about God’s power, either. But he is sure about the bully’s.
Maybe Mary felt like I do, when she quickly left Bethlehem to go to Egypt with a tiny baby to protect from the malicious King Herod.
We are all in exile now in this house, waiting for the new exodus, waiting for the power of Mother God to save and bring justice to my son and all of us.
Probably the hardest part of parenting or mothering is a feeling of powerlessness in the face of our children’s pain. Goodness never seems enough. And, yet it is. The goodness of El Shaddai is enough.
The Swallow’s Nest reading for today parallels the story about the wise men foiling King Herod’s murder plot. It is from Exodus 1:13-23 where Pharoah tells the midwives to kill all the Hebrew baby boys born in their care. They refuse. And when confronted, they lie, saying the Hebrew women give birth too quickly to discreetly kill the infants.
The strength of the midwives is in their unwavering goodness, in what they refuse to do even at the risk of their own lives. The Scripture names these blessed women: Shiprah, and Puah, and says God gave them families due to their powerful acts of goodness.
Sometimes I equate goodness with weakness. I think my son Marshall does too now. His IEP/Placement team at school did not see Marshall’s situation as placing him in any danger, so they said his current placement is appropriate. We wait for justice, but we seek it too: we will consult a lawyer this week and have a call in to Disability Rights.
We wait in exile but not passively, and that is our life with God, too. Waiting on Mother God who is working through wisdom and goodness to provide a way home for each of us. And that’s true power.
“God is a stronghold for the oppressed, their protection in troubled times. All those who know Her goodness trust in Her, for She has never forsaken anyone who put confidence in her.” Ps. 116, p. 6, Swallow’s Nest