2. Therefore I must be intimate with you, and lie in your bed with you. Daughter, you greatly desire to see me, and you may boldly, when you are in bed, take me to you as your wedded husband. . . .
In the midst of one of Margery’s extended visions in Book One, section 36, Jesus makes this remarkable statement to Margery. The sexual content of the statement is naturally the most striking part, but it soon becomes clear that he is speaking in spiritual terms—that sex is being used here as a metaphor or image of mystical union. Jesus does not merely say that he wants to be Margery’s lover; he addresses her as his daughter, and says he intends to be her father, son, husband, and brother—while she is to be his wife, mother, sister, and child. In other words, Jesus intends to be all men—all things—to her, and she will be known and loved by him completely, in all aspects of her being as a woman. Margery’s earthly mystical experience is meant as a foretaste of heaven itself. In effect, Margery’s female experience of the male Christ is presented as the essence of what all humans, male and female, can expect from direct union with God—a bold, pro-woman statement indeed.