I broke a statue of our Blessed Mother on Saturday. It wasn't just any statue as it was given to me as a gift for being in the choir when I was in fourth grade. That was 48 years ago. The statue has occupied a place of honor for all those years. First it was on my dresser in my bedroom where I would create an altar around her and crown her with flowers and have her hold my rosaries. When we moved from Brooklyn she came with us to Long Island and found a place in my room along with pictures of the latest teen idol and a growing collection of records (remember those?). When I married I carried her off to our new home and she went from a place in the bedroom to a new home on the bookshelves in the living room, where she has remained for well over 30 years.
A few weeks ago we began redecorating the living room and I had to take things off the bookshelf. Mary has survived remodeling and redecorating before without a scratch. I brought her, along with other knick-knacks, to my bedroom and placed her on my dresser. I figured she was safely on my dresser for all those years before marriage so she should be safe now. Saturday I went to put something in my jewlery box and slightly bumped into her and she fell over hitting one of the other things on the dresser. A part of her sleeve broke off into several pieces. I was heartbroken.
I was once asked of all the things I possess, if I had to choose one thing to save (other than people or pets) in a disaster what would it be and I replied my statue of Mary; not photographs, not my computer, not my jewlery or even my beloved books. So now I sat on my bed angry with myself that I allowed the statue to be broken. It even crossed my mind that I should just throw it away, I didn't want to be reminded of the fact that it was broken. As the day wore on, I began to reflect on what St. John of the Cross wrote about detachment. I was attached to an object, and for what reason? Was the statue representative of my relationship with our Blessed Mother, or was it a sentimental reminder of my childhood? I had to sit with that for awhile.
Yesterday while driving to work I received a word from the Lord. "I want you to have a relationship with my Mother, not with a statue," was what I heard in my heart. WOW, did that hit me like a ton of bricks. You see while I do hold Our Lady in great esteem and believe all the Church teaches about her, my relationship with her has been less than adequate to say the least. I do pray the Rosary, but often it is half-hearted while driving in the car or when I can't sleep. Even my attempts to develop my relationship with Mary is half-hearted. Yet recently I did pray to her to help with a specific situation and she appears to have helped me in this regard, but I didn't recognize it.
Today while driving to work I received another word. "The statue can be repaired, so too can you repair your relationship with my Mother." Another WOW moment. I have most of the pieces from the statue, and as an artist I am sure I can touch up the area with paint once the pieces are glued in place. With regard to my relationship with Mary, I have all the "pieces" to glue the relationship back together. Perhaps this incident is calling me to a deeper relationship with Mary. Perhaps I need to take "Mary" off the shelf and allow her to be part of my life.