Advent Project Day 8: Stepping up

José y Maria – Everett Patterson (

This morning I woke up on the cusp of weird dreams. Mike was sitting in his chair in my living room, chipping golf balls over our dining room table and into a red solo cup in front of the bay window in my dining room. Because of course he was. There was other, equally bizarre stuff going on in that dream, but as that was what was happening in the nebulous place between sleep and wakefulness, that is the part that escaped into the lucid light of day. I also happen to know that when you dream about losing your teeth, it means you have concerns about growing older. Because reasons.

So if you have a dream in which a guy named Gabriel in very, very white jammies and immense feathery wings says not to be concerned about your underage girlfriend’s pregnancy because God’s the babydaddy, that would seem legit, right?

I have subscribed to Pope Francis’ Facebook feed. One of the things that the papal offices posts in their Facebook stream is the daily gospel readings. Yesterday’s reading was when the angel Gabriel visited the BVM to tell her that she’d been chosen to bear a Child. It’s fairly widely accepted that the BVM was about 15 when she was tasked to be… uh…the BVM. That’s younger than Connor; as young as other kids I work with a cadets. I look at the responsibilities that Connor has, with school, cadets, band, otherband, chores, work, university applications, and how he sometimes struggles under the weight of it. I can’t imagine the weight of responsibility that this teenage girl 2000 years ago would have felt.  The stakes of an unwed girl being pregnant in the BVM’s day meant death. Still, God called, and she stepped up. People thought she was a whore, including, briefly, Joseph. Even he stepped up when the BVM (and the dreamstate messages from God) explained the situation. Imagine how that conversation went? One one hand, far more bizarre than Living room chipping practise or losing teeth, but with the right voice, the most rational dream ever dreamed. No matter how improbable the story seemed, when God’s messenger spoke, Joseph chose faith and belief over fear.

This Advent, may I trust the path that God lays out for me. May I step up when I’m called to do good works, and may I not judge the paths others are called to take. 

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