I sit in the dark beside the bedroom window. The ocean hurls and roars its foamy rage at the cliff my house sits on. Rain and sleet shoot the glass. Welcome, new day.
It is a December day like most December days, when storms upset the seas, when fog settles in like a plague and the light leaves too early, comes too late. We scurry still like spiders along our webs bent in the wind, but planes lie still. Nothing can fly. The mailbox is empty. No mail or packages this day again. Third day in a row.
A day like any other day, this. A month like any other month. Yet into this grey beaks a cloud hovering, a cloud glowing beneath. Hark. Halt. A piece of light, a shiver of sun glows the sky over the spruce. Maybe Christmas will come today.
And it does. Meaning, Christ will come today to this dark-tired heart, these half-closed eyes. I found him again this morning---no, he found me.
In the midst of words, He crooked his finger and drew me close, close enough for tears close enough to steal breath. "You? You did this? You did this---for us?"
by Amit Majmudar
Inheart yourself, immensity. Immarrow,
Embone, enrib yourself. The wind won't borrow
A plane, nor water climb aboard a current,
But you be all we are, and all we aren't.
You rigged this whirligig, you make it run:
Stop juggling atoms and oppose your thumbs.
That's what we like, we like our rich to slum.
The rich, it may be, like it too. Enmeat
Yourself so we can rise onto our feet
And meet. For eyes, just take two suns and shrink them.
Make all your thoughts as small as you can think them.
Encrypt in flesh, enigma, what we can't
Quite English. We will almost understand.
If there are things for which we don't have clearance,
There's secrecy aplenty in appearance.
Face it, another word for skin is hide.
Show me the face that never lied.
And I see it. Or at least, the sun that comes from that face. It rises this morning, over the sea, the houses, the spruce. The audacity of sky finally blue, and we remember again-----
we are not alone. We have met.
He has shared all of these atoms from his whirling hands with us. He has shared our very bodies, enribbed like us, eyes like suns, like us, a rigged whirligig as monstrous and wondrous as us . ….
Oh God! That you should BE a baby. For us. To come and meet us so.
And so comes the light.
The world cries, newborn.
I cry. New born.
Light into night. Light into flesh. *Light upon light.
Who will move us from the dark haunts and ruts of our days? God's word will nudge and shove us into Truth. And others' words about His words….. This year, I am SO thankful for this new book,
, compiled by Sarah Arthur. I count on this every season---finding one book, just one book to aflame my ashes again. This is It for me. Scripture readings are followed by stunning poems and stories by people wiser than me: G.K. Chesterton, Tania Runyan, Eugene Peterson, Charles Dickens, Luci Shaw, Kathleen Norris, Mark Jarman and many others.
And---would you let me bless someone this week? Someone who sits in darkness, who will not receive a package, who needs to know someone loves them . . . I would like to send off some gift boxes of my Wild Harvest salmon and jams to a woman or a man or a family who needs some joy this Christmas.
If you know someone whose world would be lit by this gift, would you write me? Send me their need, and their mailing address here:
. I know I will not be able to send to all who write in, but you remember the man, surrounded by starfish on the beach who were dying, who threw one starfish back into the ocean? That will be me----just able to pick up a few and return them to a moment of joy. But we all do what we can. And it will be enough. If you could send me those names asap ….?? I am closing down the Wild Harvest shop at the end of this week for the Christmas season (then flying to Anchorage for minor surgery.) Thank you, good friends, partners in this happy crime.
I leave you this this prayer from Light upon Light, by John Keble (1792 - 1866)
O Thou, who keep's the Key of Love,
Open Thy fount, eternal Dove,
And overflow this heart of mine,
Enlarging as it fills with Thee,
Till in one blaze of charity
Care and remorse are lost, like motes in light divine . . .