by Joy Lenton
Our souls unfurl like flowers to the sun, warmed by the healing benediction of its welcoming rays.
Our eyes cannot tolerate gazing long at such brazen brightness but we appreciate the way heat seeps into our skin like a sweet embrace.
We yearn for the reassurance of holy radiance, the comfort of Presence which sun represents.
And on cold, wintry days our senses fight against diminishing hours of daylight and encroaching darkness.
We watch morning rise slow and sun stretch like an arthritic-limbed lady flexing hesitant fingers toward a new day.
Witness her glow reflected in sparkle of snow and twinkling ice etching unique patterns on the ground.
Our spirits lift to see a darkening world made pure-white.
Our hearts lean toward the light of Advent as we reflect on Light Himself shining in our darkness.
So we light a candle to remind ourselves again of why Jesus came.
Watch it flicker and grow steady, just as our faith flourishes strong when rooted in the reality of His coming.
We meditate on wonder wrapped up in life’s seemingly mundane moments.
Here lies holy Mystery. Here lies a joy-gift to the human race.
Here lies our history invaded and pervaded by His story of grace.
How to put words to the way the Word Himself has come to abide among us?
It’s not easy for finite minds to fathom the Incarnate Christ.
The poem below arose from an attempt to sit with these thoughts a while, to contemplate their magnitude.
We imagine you as helpless babe, held tight, warmly at rest
in human arms against the chill of Bethlehem’s night
Cocooned from the world’s gaze, your light’s fiery
rays lie concealed within folds of swaddled cloth
But your birth signals our new birth to come as the only
Way we can return to our heavenly Home
Your lungs cry out Life in abundance, fullness
now given to restore us to heaven’s wholeness
You battled your way into an earthly frame
to bring us freedom, respite from guilt and shame
Heaven came down as Mary bore you in blood, sweat and tears,
no doubt feeling the strain of those achingly silent years
when no discernible heavenly voice was heard
and hearts were hungry for a holy word
Then joy breaking through in exultant angelic
song as you broke through to where we belong
Light streamed into our darkness deep, Hope of
years rose strong from earth’s dust and ashes heap
Deceptively, outwardly mild and meek, you hold the strength
of the universe in your voice, the call of creation in your soul
the power of change for our hearts as you seek
to transform, redeem and make us whole
Blinding Light of ages blazes from your eyes,
causing men to avert their guilty faces
Because your gaze penetrates barriers we erect
within as your piercing sight sears our sin
And you see into the depths of our despair
with a tenderness at once unknown and rare
There is wisdom in the words you speak and
discernment into every heart you meet
You are diviner and divider, eternal
provider and bringer of peace
You are Alpha and Omega, beginning
and ending where all wars will cease
You are Truth and abundant Life revealing
You are open Word and hidden treasure concealing
You are Love beyond all human knowing
Our deepest need that keeps on growing