Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

The birth of love

When is the time for love to be born?
The inn is full on the planet earth,
And by a comet the sky is torn—
Yet Love still takes the risk of birth.
                        Madeline L’Engle

The Christmas seasons asks us to embrace such foolishness and paradox
and a most unlikely cast of characters

I wonder indeed, if in this time
The divine synergy of Christmas would be allowed to emerge
That coming together of such disparate and strange elements

Perhaps Joseph would have been arrested for trafficking
As he attempted to transport that poor, pregnant child
Across a state line.

Perhaps they never would have made it to the city
Their Ford Escort stalled by the side of the freeway

Perhaps the manger would have been a dumpster instead of a barn
with the child nestled among cardboard
And half eaten Big Macs.
His birthplace illuminated by blinking neon
Or the flashing lights of a police cruiser.

Perhaps those gathered to see this thing which had come to pass,
And embrace the hope would be the outcasts
The homeless, ragged, dirty hungry ones
male, female, black, white, all
Sober, drunk, high

Young black men, looking over their shoulders for the police
White bearded veterans, their Vietnam caps pulled low over tired faces
People struggling with depression or psychosis, moving slowly
Over medicated, under medicated, hopeless and afraid
Immigrants, fearful

Drawn to this place by something
Tugging at their hearts

Only to be dispersed by the wail of a siren
Shattering the stillness
And overshadowing
The wail of frail humanity

Perhaps the magi would not only be late
But never show, arrested by ICE and
Detained in an INS camp
Or trapped on the other side of a wall

Perhaps the innocents would still die
Not by violence, but by neglect
The services they needed to live cut by
Legislators more concerned with power and wealth and ideology
Than with people

And yet, it seems
 the Sacred has a way of being born
In all times
And in all places
And in all people

Even here
Even now

no matter how hard we might try
We cannot keep
The sacred from being birthed

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