As much as nature humbles me, breaking me down, admitting how small, how tiny and how quick I am to die… it also strengthens and reminds me that we are all beautiful.
Wrapped in flesh, clothed in skin stinking writhing
Breather of the universe
Supernatural meets natural
Lord God in heaven,
Grandfather of the Sky
Breath of life, maker of truth,
Utterly, disgustingly physical
And hope? Hope in what?
Hope in infancy, puberty, and a man to come?
Holy Second of the Trinity,
Totally physical, absolutely spiritual.
And I? I look and wish it weren’t true.
If God would just stay up in the sky, maybe I could avoid him.
If he didn’t understand earth-pains, I could run.
The babe that haunts me.
If God can say, “yes, I know” I am caught, and forced to weep.
Man-God born to some kid younger than I,
The holy virgin probably had body issues.
Itching at foreign flaked skin,
Let me leave, let me float away.
Transcend flesh, join you up in the sky.
But if he didn’t, then I can’t.
He put it on, and I want out?
He’s not up there, he’s here.
And I strangle the needs of my being,
Spirit-body, heart-beat of a soul,
I don’t even like babies.
Universal bandaid, one-size-fits-all.
Jesus the Nazarene,
Savior of the Universe
Solution of Man,
Sacred on Earth.
Christ the Savior is Born.
So I haven’t ever tried this. But I wanted to collaborate with someone for a Christmas post. Christmas is a very complicated Holiday for me, with all the gifts, consumerism, and masked smiles all put up against this beautiful, yet very simple moment of birth. Like, birth is such a human, down to the earth moment. Blood, tears, screams and pain. I don’t know, most of the time I just feel weird about Christmas – how am I supposed to engage it?
So I asked my friend Heather Milks to write something, something honest, sincere, questioning to which I could respond with an image of my own. Talking with her I feel that where she’s at in her own faith is a very similar place to my own, and I was really happy when she said “Yes!” So here’s the final result. I hope you like it as much as I did and that maybe it helps you to see afresh the birth of Christ.
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