A Picture, A Poem and A Song

Shobana Vetrivel   |   December 18, 2017 

I am a book lover and most of what captivates my thoughts, imagination and inspiration, especially relating to spiritual life, comes from writing in any form or words verbally expressed. Reading the Scriptures or reading books or even listening to people has been the primary source of contemplation and reflection for me. So when a work of art or a song speaks to me, it’s refreshing and unexpected.

I came across this picture a couple of years ago, shared by someone on Twitter and have since seen it in several places. The image has stayed with me over the years and keeps coming back to my mind especially at this time of the year. It is simple yet profound and pregnant (pun not intended) with meaning and hope.

 

Mary and Eve
Crayon & pencil drawing by Sr Grace Remington, OCSO
© 2005, Sisters of the Mississippi Abbey.

A poem accompanies the picture and eloquently expresses the expectation and joy that Jesus' birth proclaims.

O Eve!

My mother, my daughter, life-giving Eve,
Do not be ashamed, do not grieve.
The former things have passed away,
Our God has brought us to a New Day.
See, I am with Child,
Through whom all will be reconciled.
O Eve! My sister, my friend,
We will rejoice together
Forever
Life without end.

Sr Columba Guare
© 2005, Sisters of the Mississippi Abbey

The picture and poem capture the shame and brokenness that sin brings…but point also to the hope and restoration that the long awaited Messiah brings. Mary is able to console Eve because the Son she bears “will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21) Jesus, through His life, death and resurrection is the one who crushes the effects and power of sin (Genesis 3:15).

The song, also inspired by the picture is a somewhat recent find. I heard it first just over two weeks ago and it’s on repeat on my playlist. It is part of a children’s advent album (even more unexpected for me, and if you're looking for music for children this season I highly recommend it). You can listen to it here and I’m sharing some of the lyrics below -

Mary Consoles Eve
from Waiting Songs by Rain for Roots

Eve, my sister
The one who took the fall
Eve, my sister
Mother of us all
Lift up your head
Don’t hide your blushing face
The promised One
Is finally on His way

Eve, it’s Mary
Now I’m a mother too
The child I carry
A promise coming true
This baby comes to save us from our sin
A servant King, His kingdom without end

Almost, not yet, already
Almost, not yet, already

I love the refrain “Almost, not yet, already”… Christmas reminds us of the incarnation, the Word becoming flesh, Jesus sharing in our humanity, of all that He accomplished on our behalf through His death and resurrection, of all the “already” we experience.

But we still wait for complete restoration and the “not yet”. The tension of all that is “not yet” can sometimes be unbearable for me but Christmas also reminds me that God keeps His promises. The time gap between Eve and Mary is thousands of years, but God is at work throughout in His world, in shaping history and working through His people in bringing about His plan of salvation. The picture, poem and song have been instrumental this season in reminding me of what was, what is and what is to come.

And so as we live out our lives in His world, and we live out the “already”, may we find encouragement, hope and strength in this God who fulfils all His promises, who will accomplish all that is “not yet”, who walks with us through it all, lifts up our head from our brokenness and shame and consoles our hearts.

 Photo Credit: Unsplash

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Shobana Vetrivel

Shobana Vetrivel enjoys the hustle and bustle of city life and the adventure of living in New Delhi. She has an educational background in social development and theology and has worked in both development and ministry settings. She currently works with Delhi School of Theology and is pursuing a PhD in Practical Theology. Books, travelling, theology, coffee and deep conversations are a few of her favourite things.  

5 comments on “A Picture, A Poem and A Song”

    1. Thank you! I love the song!! I’ve had it in my chrustmas playlist for a while amd came across the photo last summer. What are your thoughts on the “almost?” Is it Eve “almost” makes it without sinning?

      1. Hi Terri, thanks for writing and yes I love the song too! My thoughts are that the "almost, not yet, already" relates to the concept of "already and not yet" or "now and not yet" ... in Christ the kingdom of God has come but not yet in its fullness. Through Christ's death and resurrection in his first coming, we "already" possess every spiritual blessing but we do "not yet" experience it in it's fullness as we still live in a world broken with sin, but we await his second coming when we will experience the kingdom in its fullness.

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