Reflections on/of Guadalupe

Who are you, Guadalupe?  And who are you to me?

PHOTO-Guadalupe-framedAre you the docile woman, eyes cast down, hands clasped together as if in prayer?  The one who fades into the background when I look closely at your image?  Are you calling me to pray or are you calling me to fade into the background of the world?  It’s hard to tell.

Yolanda Lopez's Guadalupe

Yolanda Lopez’s Guadalupe

Perhaps you’re the woman breaking through the image.  The one in running shoes, clutching a serpent in her hand.  There’s power there. And bold determination.  Are you calling me to claim my power and my energy?  I like that side of you and that side of me.

Or are you someone else?  Could it be you cultivate the whimsical side of you–floating in the winds of change and delighting in that space?

Guadalupe of winds and whimsy

Guadalupe of winds and whimsy

The historian in me says, “Not so.  There’s no evidence to make that claim.”

And yet I wonder if whimsy isn’t a part of you as well.  After all you landed in a most unlikely place and found yourself serenaded not by human voice or even by angels but by birds.  Whimsy–it’s a part of you I’d love to claim.

But where I met you, where I first felt your power and your sway, was not in a picture or a thought but on the streets of San Francisco.  That’s where I first got to know you and to know you in me.  We were marching for justice, and we were marching for mercy.  My friend Eddie, meztizo from El Paso, brought your banner to the march.  He held one side, I the other.  It’s there I met you.  There–in that banner.

The hope of Guadalupe

The hope of Guadalupe

And in the hands and eyes of those we encountered on our way.  Some ran up to touch your face.  Others kissed you on the lips.  Some ran up to us and linked their hands in ours joining us in placing  hopes in you.  We were one in you.

Who are you, Guadalupe?  You are the one who brings hope to those whom others overlook.  And you are the one who brings hope to world divided in so many ways.  Some say you are an evangelizer bringing God’s promise to a people who have no hope.  Some say you the Mother of God.  I wonder if you are an angelos of God–bringing God’s hope, God’s love and God’s unifying peace to people divided by things little and big.  

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