The tender folly
of God becoming a man…
Love is crucified.
The tender folly
of God becoming a man…
Love is crucified.
Which mystery is greater?
That the eternal, ineffable God,
the uncreated source of all being,
created us and gave us the gift of life,
or that he chose to become small enough to fit
on a woman’s lap
in order to come share our life?
Oh, Woman, what a great mystery you are,
sharing in the work of God!
A single flame in the darkness,
a single note in the silence,
a single child in a stable–
only God would have
the humble audacity to appear this way
when He wanted to reach everyone in the world.
He could have come with crashes of lighting
flashing across the entire sky.
He could have come with legions of angels,
fast and furious,
but He came instead in the quiet–
His little cries
barely heard above the donkey’s breath.
He came with a love as warm as hot chocolate
that spreads slowly through your whole body
and makes everything right.
He came small enough to fit himself
–the creator of the universe–
into each human heart,
affirming that each person
is a universe unto themselves–
infinitely precious and loved.
Tiny note, little light, set the world aflame with joy!
Lord, may my heart not be any empty tabernacle
—all shiny but locked shut—
Fill me with Yourself,
make me really able to love
with Your love.
Come enter my heart!
I promise You’ll fit,
not because my heart is big enough
to hold the King of the Universe,
but because You are so good
at becoming so small.
Father, will you forgive me
for being crushed under this weight?
No, My daughter,
there is nothing to forgive.
It is no sin to stagger
under such a heavy burden.
Did I rebuke my Son when He fell three times?
No, there was nothing to rebuke.
But I could hear the entire creation rejoicing with Me–
mountains echoing with thunder
and seas roaring with triumph–
every time He got up again
to give Himself completely
in the full freedom of love.
Therefore be still, my daughter.
Calm your wildly beating heart–
I never asked you to do this alone.
You’re being held up by angels,
but you must close your eyes to see them.
When things are heavy,
rest in their embrace.
There is a flame the cold can’t quench
and so we joy-filled fill
this giant wooden teepee with song
We reach for the hand of one
whose wounded one reaches for ours
Sheltered in this house of God
by a cone of boards bound with nails
like a teepee sewn together
—holes through pierced skin—
protecting us from the winter storms
Like the people of Jerusalem we process with palms
but instead of hot sand the snow swirls around us
a soft spring snow
full of hope of future harvest
as the fire-golden wheat fields lie hidden
under the cold kiss of a blanket of snow
the way you lie hidden
the fire of your divinity
submerged in the wheat coloured wafer
We live in the shelter of his love
the humble king of glory
Selfishness is so easy. It’s so easy to focus on yourself and blame all your troubles on others. Doing so allows us to stay in a state of inaction: there is “nothing” we can do about our problems because they are “not our fault.” Someone else is to blame. But this attitude dooms us to shadow-boxing all our lives–flailing out our arms uselessly to hit the imaginary causers of our own difficulties.
If we are honest with ourselves, we discover that the source of our brokenness is within. Even if we were isolated from all others in a tiny hermitage, we would still struggle. This is a sobering thought. It means we have to rise from our stupor and take responsibility for our lives. Only we can change them for the better.
But while we can take positive steps towards small changes for the better, healing our brokenness is not something we can do alone. We can’t make ourselves never grumpy, annoyed, snappy, imprudent, lazy or selfish etc by our willpower alone. We are like broken light bulbs whose wires are not connected, so the electricity can’t flow through them. We need to reconnect those wires by joining our hands in prayer, so the grace of God can flow through us and help us to shine.
In the bustle of daily life, it can be easy to forget this. We get wrapped up in our troubles and forget to ask for help. We forget to pray for our needs, and for the grace to bear hardships cheerfully. But God is just waiting to show us signs of His affection, if we open our hearts to receive it. Sometimes His generosity is very concrete. Recently my Dad and I went on a wild goose chase search for a second-hand dresser for my eldest daughter. We drove all over, even out of town, and checked three stores with no luck. We saw a couch I liked which could replace our old beat-up red one, but I couldn’t get a-hold of my husband at work to ask his opinion. It was a hot, tiring day and nothing seemed to be quite working.
But the next day, the reason for our fruitless search was made clear: there was something better waiting for us. A block from our house, my Dad spotted an estate sale with gorgeous furniture. There was a beautiful maple dressed in perfect condition for $45. And even more lovely, an antique Coombs couch and matching armchair, with wooden finish and lovely blue upholstery for $250 together. I don’t know what their original price would have been, but the reupholstering alone would have cost $2000 in the ’80’s! Talk about score. Furthermore, they were willing to deliver the furniture to our house, which was another godsend, because some things are just too darn big for my double stroller (we don’t have a car).
So this is just a little reminder, to myself as much as to anyone else, to take time to join my hands in prayer, reconnect with God and let His love flow through me. If we could all shine our little lights, instead of staying in the darkness of anger and blame, how gorgeous the world would be. Like a glowing Christmas tree, every little light sharing its warmth with the others. In a time of uncertainty and violence, I think the peacefulness of this image is one worth focusing on, hoping and praying for. God bless you all.
This day of silence
of separation from our Beloved,
is it not our life?
As we flock to the streets where He walked
and weep that He walks there no longer,
do we not share one heart?
Longing for the Beloved
whose shadow has passed by
and disappeared like smoke,
choking us with grief…
a love that never fails
a light that never ceases
a warmth which will never turn a cold shoulder
and leave us truly abandoned.
Our tears are equally precious pearls
no matter the tongue
which utters our sobs,
no matter the place we pray
and beg for the kingdom of peace
to be now.
The evening song rises,
wavering upward with the incense.
Voices sound out like trumpets,
break open in beauty like daffodils,
proclaiming before the great suffering begins:
“It is for love! It is for love!
This great folly is for love!”
And then, the garden,
Jesus, your prayer rises like a whisp of smoke,
like a candle extinguished…
leaving only a sad grey trail
curling heavenward in the darkness.
The tabernacle sits empty,
like a heart broken open
and found abandoned.
mourning you with our songs,
eyes open and aching,
empty of tears,