for all we know


We’ll use this image by Ben Bell, alongside a version of the poem below on Thursday in the prison…

For all we know,
before Mary sang her song of joy
she wept tears of frustration
and heartbreak.

I like to think she did.

For all we know,
before Mary welcomed God’s action with delight,
she fought what was happening to her
and she resented the presumption
of the divine.

For all we know,
for at least a moment
and probably longer,
Mary was bewildered,
and lost.

The miracle we celebrate today
may somehow seem more impossible
than the idea that Mary got pregnant
or that God became human.
It’s that in the face of devastation
and from deep within the truth of heartbreak and desolation
there might still come
a moment of joy.


  1. Shannon

    This is an amazing poem but I can’t really tell, is it written by Bell? Did you write it? I would like to use it and site the source. – I am a prison chaplain too by the way – this site is fantastic!

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