In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.
Artist’s Note: This is one of my earliest paintings, and still one of my favorites. It’s title is taken from the following poem, which I wrote after meditating on The Annunciation.
She Waits with Those Who Wait for God by KPB Stevens Leaves are lace on the dawn’s body. Houses scatter silhouettes at the sky. All the world waits - for days she’s been waiting. An angel came in invading light. An angel called her favored - she, mystic Mary, who can see - who languishes in vision, longing to have no borders, no frontiers to cross - to be the shadow of a man coming towards her, and then the man himself, and then the sunlight in his hair (she thinks that she might die within his cells - she thinks that she might flow and stain like sweat) - to be the green grass and the scalp of earth beneath it - to ascend in a yellow pulse along the day - to balance in the memory of God - to fall and rise again, like breath. (Now strong sunlight through the window. Now a solid brightness to her prayers. She is an egg of being, a foretaste of delight. Again, again she absorbs the light that sunlight shapes against her skin. Again, again her eyes are laughing sight, a scatter of air beneath dove’s wings.)