photo by David Lienhard
This is for the shepherd who called in sick that night, the Thomas-one who just wasn’t there and can’t believe the sky was full of so many bright beings.
This is for the realization he’s just not the magic you thought he was.
This is for the time when you’re so doped up on painkillers you believe God is sitting right next to you Christmas morning one minute, and then think we’ve all made God up entirely the next. (But this is not so different from when you’re sober anyway.)
This is for Anna, who had to wait (after so much waiting) for Jesus to come to the temple–who, the day after the whole world changed, went about fasting, praying, waiting business as usual. When will you come, O redemption of Jerusalem? How long must I wait? (I just wonder–was she able to sense the re-knitting of the cosmos? Did she feel it in her bones? or was the morning just as dark as ever?)
This is for the Christmas when it all falls apart.
This is for the year when your weird and terrible houseguests come to town and make that week known as the “Jerry Springer holiday” forever until the end.
This is for him, for her, without whom Christmas doesn’t make sense anymore.
This is for the two bills you keep peeking at in your wallet, counting and recounting: dividing, adding, but mostly subtracting, mostly needing to multiply.
This is for the stranger, heavy-hearted, longing for someone you know.
This is for when you just can’t.
This is for the three years in a row where you try to cut a deal–no more presents ever again if she only gets a job this time.
This is for the year they stop calling.
This is for the paper on the Incarnation you wrote in the middle of a deep cloud during Advent, the one where you hoped your heretic-heart didn’t show, where you hope you hid the question then why are we still waiting?
This is for the weary world. (Rejoices?)
I’m with you. I hear you. I get it. (I mean, I might not get it, but I totally get it.)
I’ll pray, fast, weep, and sing with you–
O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray;
Cast out our sin, and enter in, be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell;
O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel!