In the darkness of Christmas morn
I stand under the back porch roof,
listening to the rain falling gently
on the almost melted snow.
As most of us do every year, I had hoped the
precipitation of this precious morn
would fall in the form of snowflakes,
the big and soft ones,
the kind of snowflakes that appear on the covers of
glossy, colorful Christmas cards we receive each year.
In the darkness of the holy morn
She rested under the roof of the stable,
listening to the first breaths of her son
among the rhythmic breathing of the animals.
Certainly, before this night, she had heard stories of the women
who gather to attend to a birth.
Had she hoped for a clean room,
with women kinfolk present,
or at least the midwife of the region who knew which
songs of labor to sing,
herbs and tinctures to use to lessen the pain,
positions to try to ease the pushing and groaning,
blessings to pronounce at the taking of his first God-given breath?
We long for the comfortable and familiar,
for the “shoulds” of how we want life to be.
But once again, You break into our lives
In unexpected places, unfamiliar ways,
And give birth to Your love.
And You desire of us to do the same.
The ground may be mucky with mud and rain,
Or the floor covered with straw and tufts of fur.
We may shiver in the cold or wish the pain would lessen.
But Your love doesn’t need the ideal conditions for being birthed.
You desire only a willing heart,
a heart that will open, even if a crack,
a heart that says, in perhaps a quiet whisper,
Let it be with me, according to Thy word.