How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?

I love The Sound of Music! It is full of beautiful songs that get stuck in my head quite often.  Just the other day I was getting dressed and “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria” suddenly came to my mind.  I kept singing it and wondering why in the world it was stuck in my head!  It made me want to watch the musical……again!

After singing it a few times in my mind I started thinking more about the story. Maria was a nun living in a convent.  She was very different than the other nuns.  She got “lost” in her own world quite often and this caused her to appear disobedient.  She would wonder about admiring the beauty around her and sing about it.  She smiled a lot and always seemed so happy and full of life.  Her sisters were more serious and felt that obeying all the rules was a must.  They would easily get frustrated with Maria hence the song “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria”.  Do I have you singing it in your head yet?!?!

Mother Superior knew Maria was different than the others. I am not saying that the other nuns were wrong or bad.  They fit that environment well and flourished there.  Mother Superior knew that Maria did not.   Mother Superior had a decision to make.  Would she force Maria to become like the others and obey all the rules or would she let Maria go so she could live out of who she really was?

She knew Maria would have to put on a mask and hide her true self in order to fit in there and “be solved”. She did not want that for Maria.  She wanted Maria to experience the freedom that comes from living out of who she was created to be.  She found Maria a place that she felt would allow that freedom.

At first, Maria did not see it that way. She wanted to go back to the comfort of what she knew.  She was telling herself that wearing a mask was easier than authenticity.  But something happened.  Maria began to trust the children she was caring for with herself.  She let them inside her world.  Relationships began to develop.  Trust grew and they began to let Maria inside their world.  She extended grace to them when they did everything they could to make her go away.  She comforted them when they needed it.  She listened to them and gave advice when asked.

Living out of who we are does not just mature and grow us….

Embracing the love God has for us does not just mature and grow us….

It flows out of us and we are able to experience our relationship with God through others. Mother Superior loved Maria and because of that she helped Maria see that she was perfect and loved just as she was.  She did not need to change.  She helped her embrace who she was and out of that Maria experienced freedom.


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