Candles burned. Colors exploded. Music flowed. Words shocked. The entirety of my being beheld the glory of the coming of the lamb. I could see her. God was so close. I clung to the Virgin as the bearer of God. Christmas was in my very soul. I knew it would last forever.
The years brought doubt. Is there a God? This is too fantastical. Did God really come to earth? This is a bridge too far. A manger? This is nuts. Shepherds seeing the heavens open up? There is no way. Wise men/women from the East? Give me a break. While I had deep doubts about it all, the claim that the Virgin bore a child was the most fantastical claim of them all. The questions were killing me. I had to figure it out.
Everything seemed lost.
The candles turned my stomach. The colors were annoying. The music hurt my ears. The words were a bad fairy tale. I could see/feel/taste/smell/hear nothing. God was gone. I looked at the carefully constructed manger and grew into a rage. I wanted to take a baseball bat and destroy it all. I didn’t believe any of it. In fact, I was embarrassed that I ever believed it all.
Christmas was a joke.
Knowledge was now my God. I figured it all out. If it couldn’t be proven, I knew it was bullshit. Then, I met the Virgin.
My ears could still hear.
Many years into my arrogance, I met a theologian/a self-described sheologian. After I rattled off everything I thought was false, she asked me to give voice to what was true. I wasn’t prepared for what happened next. She deconstructed everything I said. I was able to prove nothing. I felt empty. Eventually, she looked at me and said, “Faith doesn’t seems so illogical after all.”
I leaned in.
“Have you ever considered that the equality of countless women relies on how we think about the Virgin?” As a fierce believer in social justice, I was confused. “The Virgin bore a child without any man. She reproduced on her own. How many men can do that? The Virgin proves that women can do anything on their own. God chose her. Such a choosing proves that God often chooses women for tasks that are far more important than what God chooses men for. The Virgin liberated herself and the world. This is not just an ancient phenomenon. Modern women have the ability to liberate themselves and the world. There is no stronger doctrine for the liberation of women than what the Virgin provides.”
I was floored.
Certainty was no longer required. Faith became a tool in the pursuit of justice. The magic and mystery came back. Over time, God found me again or perhaps I found her again.
The Virgin saved my soul.
The candles pulled. The colors called. The music wooed. The words taught. The heavens opened up. I saw the birth. I saw God. I saw justice. I saw liberation. I saw equality. The Virgin was the healer of the world. Then I heard her sing, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace and goodwill for all…especially women.” As the heavens closed, I feared that she was gone. Then, I saw her right in front of me. I have never beheld such beauty. In those moments, she grabbed me and has never let me go.
In these times of sickening inequality…
The Virgin is still saving souls.
The Virgin will bring about the liberation of women.
The Virgin will save us all.
The Virgin has brought us God.
I believe in the Virgin Birth.
…because I know that the Virgin believes in us.