The Togetherness of Others
I was sitting at a coffeeshop with a darling friend of mine attempting to articulate my past struggles with identity and fitting in. As I was stumbling through short phrases and listing every marginalized group I have identified with, my friend spared me and summarized my rabbit trail. She said, “of course you relate more with these individuals, as an Afro-Latina, you have been labeled as an ‘other’ alongside these groups. Therefore, you find commonality with them as people who have been ‘othered’ by the majority…by the oppressor.”
Gah! My life was spelled out before me.
I have been pondering the tragedies we are facing as a nation, I have been considering humanity. I considered every single human murdered and those injured.
I turned to my faith in the midst of processing the pain and grieving. I thought about God, who became man to die for our sins. I dreamed up all the different forms He could have came to Earth: a rich ruler, a doctor or someone with an esteemed social position but instead He was born of a virgin.
We acknowledge Mary as the mother of Christ. We applaud her willingness to bore a child, supernaturally, yet too often we fail to consider the implications of her choice. I cannot fathom the lack of understanding she received from society, maybe they viewed her with the same judgemental eyes we use to criticize teenage mothers. I imagine family and friends counting the months from pregnancy and her marriage to Joseph and realizing something does not add up. The judgemental eyes in tension with her supernatural assurance that she was birthing a Savior, a concept 2,000 years later we all struggle to understand.
If I have enough quiet space and time, I think about Jesus’s upbringing. I can almost hear the taunts and mocking statements he grew up hearing. I am sure most of those comments probably came from “family,” and those close to him: people talking about Mary, questioning his legitimacy, jokes being made about Joseph getting “cheated on.” Far fetched?
I doubt it. The bible talks about Jesus hanging out with prostitutes in his adult life, which makes me wonder about the women that came around Mary when He was young. I wonder if her being “othered” by society pushed her into friendships with “others.” I wonder if Jesus grew up feeling more acquainted, understood and loved by those who had been classified as “others” along with His mother. Again, I consider all the different ways God could have came to Earth and I love the fact that He came to a woman who had been marginalized, understanding me and everyone who has been “othered” in some form or fashion. He came to sit with the prostitutes, humbling the rich rulers and leaving the scholars without the ability to reason perfect love.