by Ernestine-Vera Kabushemeye Gahimbare
Virgin Mary is a fireside horror story in every Jesus Camp. It is Aliens made real to the believer. It is fright made solid in the pit of every independent woman turned from conviction. It is a reminder that for all the New Testament’s worth, a Christian God has comets in one fist, and lightening in the other.
Oh, Virgin Mary, so willing and giving. Ready for whatever the heavens throw upon you. A story told as though you were not expressly selected for your willingness. Giving yourself before you even knew you had anything to give. Making the decision to rejoice what was already upon you — as though choice could ever be in the equation.
It is a thing this divine being can only accept when it is in His favour. He taught us to trust and love and obey and obey and obey — not choose.
Your name is Abraham. Obey when your son’s blood is demanded. Accept and you are rewarded. Your children will be plenty. What a reward. How generous that you be recompensed bloodcurdling belief with the result of a command already given to your people.
Your name is Jonah. Obey when your path is shown. It may take three days in the belly of a fish but choice given, still. The whale or God’s path. How virtuous you are to choose God. How devout you are faced with this impalpable choice. Your name is Job. Obey with unwavering piety in the face of equally unwavering terror. Praise as you fester. Fall to your knees in adoration as the fruits of your labour rot while still in their branches. Dance in exaltation for whatever comes to you — whether blessing or curse — it is planned. Or part of a gamble between God and Lucifer. Endure and be rewarded because to falter before God is to lose your place next to him.
Look at these men of God who obey. Look how they were rewarded.
Like sin is a choice when Heaven and Hell are your options.
In the heavens, choice is a guiding hand at the back of humanity’s neck.
On earth, choice is being told that you will carry the saviour after the fact. An angel comes to you; what a wonder to be visited by the celestial. How pleasant it must be to have choice taken from you. Like abortion could not be a passing thought. Like your body was already His and your compliance the only possibility. Your name is Mary.
Indeed, Virgin Mary’s tale is a thriller. Show anything other than faith and the angels are ready to smite you. Take one step off the golden road, see if you meet a whale.
Innovate and mitigate in the face of a deaf God, and the Devil wins this gamble. Take matters in your own hands when the clawing fear of the consequences should your people not believe you and–
How pious you must be.
What wrath would you incur, if not? Sodom and Gomorra were not even a gamble and were struck down so completely, so savagely their names are synonymous with divine punishment in the face of disobedience. What horrors await you when His very pride is on the balance and your faith comes wanting? Then, how frightening this must be to those of wavering faiths. To be subject to belief that these are only stories yet feel, at times, the creeping shame of sin. How arduous the climb back to Heaven.
Imagine the terror in those freed from belief. To have these scars from a religious childhood be your nightmares. A pregnancy forced upon you because the end of time is nigh. To have made every right turn only to have choice taken from you. How soothing it must be to wake up to reason, to know the empty of space more likely than a gamble between Heaven or Hell.
“I am a 24-year-old Burundian writer currently working on a YA thriller. I run a blog where I post short stories, writing advice and writing journey stories. Prior to this, I was an editor at Involvement Newspaper for several years. I am pursuing a bachelor in Business Management and Administration at Daystar University.”
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Bryanna Gary is the founder of The Angry Noodle and a current editorial assistant at Del Rey Books–science fiction, fantasy, and horror imprint of Penguin Random House.