Mary, My Older Sister

Mary, my older sister,
you risked the sacred silence,
And found an angel facing you.
Your brave “yes”, 
became a womb,
(a hidden basket among the reeds)
Holding child and promise,
For love and freedom’s sake.

Your “yes”, is water turned to wine.
Becomes a key for those held hostage,
A message of hope for those who grieve,
A hand to the poor and ill,
And still, a friend to strangers.

Those things pondered in your heart,
Of a child whose values included you,
Whose love embraced the earth,
The skies and every living thing.
Sweet Mary, your example for us all.
If there is no time in heaven,
Pray for me now, pray for us now,
for the need is great.

Pray for us now, 
And help us give our grandest, yes,
to set aside our fear
and give us vision for what may be.
As the messenger greets us now,
I sing your praise, and ask you,
Help us with our, yes.
Help me with my yes and amen.


This poem comes from a number of places, mainly from my heart being disturbed by recent political events, an exercise in the book, Birthing the Holy, by Christine Valters Paintner, p.6, and a centering prayer time around M. Basil Pennington:

“In the silence, whether we listen to the creation around us,
The words of revelation, or the deepest stirrings of our own hearts,
We begin to perceive another voice,
One that is too often lost in the static of life.
It is no use saying: ‘Speak, Lord, your servant wants to hear,’
If we never risk the silence to listen.”

Many of my more traditional friends will enjoy this poem, while many of my evangelical friends will probably shake their heads and be concerned. But, I would ask all to examine what is going on inside themselves and if they have ever asked others to pray for them, or if they have reverenced Paul, or Peter? Why not Mary? Her ‘Yes’, was as grand as any.

About Mary Herbert

I am a gentle listener, a woman of few words. My journey through life has been a spiritual one, as well as a physical one. My daughter, Katie, and I thought it would be interesting to combine some of our giftings/talents in a blog and see what happens. Let us know what you think!

4 thoughts on “Mary, My Older Sister

  1. Your poem is beautiful in so many ways. Such a beautiful picture you’ve painted of Mary. I often love to read the verses about her pondering things and treasuring things in her heart in regards to her sweet and perfect son, Jesus. Don’t we moms treasure things in our heart regarding our children? That said … I can certainly agree that Mary deserves more reverence than the scripture afford her especially since her sacrifice was among the greatest ever asked of a human or God…but I haven’t asked deceased people ( Peter, Paul or Mary) to pray for me since Catholic days. I could be wrong…is it in scripture and I missed it? Jesus modeled reverence and prayer to the Father not Moses, Abraham or Ruth. Just thinking 🤔.

    Sent from my iPhone



    1. Thank you, Faye. I appreciate your thoughts.
      Early in my faith walk, I threw out so many “old” ways of doing things. I’ve been reexamining so many of them wondering how many mistakes my younger self made-traditions and prayer practices among them. The person I call sweet sister Mary was part of the great “toss” and she is part of the “great cloud of witnesses” who watch our struggles. If I had an older sister.…”if there were no time in heaven,” right now this would be what I’d say to her.


  2. Once again you have presented fodder for thought, Mary. My daughter had a brush with death last spring. She speaks of how her grandma and friends who have gone before her said, “No not yet, Sarah, go back”. If we talk to and listen to our loved ones who have gone before, why not Mary or other saints, they are as real as those we lived with and loved and we will have the ability to be with them in heaven one day, right? Thank you for sharing, Mary, your stretched and open mind are good for us.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s