The Long Road of Weariness and Want

snowyrose

 

The snow is melting
and the village is flooded
     with children.
~Kobayashi Issa (translated by Robert Haas)

 

snowyrose2

 

A voice is heard in Ramah,
    mourning and great weeping,
Rachel weeping for her children
    and refusing to be comforted,
    because they are no more.
Matthew 2:18 and Jeremiah 31:15

 

hi-dali
Rachel weeping – Salvador Dali

 

We think of him as safe beneath the steeple,
Or cosy in a crib beside the font,
But he is with a million displaced people|
On the long road of weariness and want.
For even as we sing our final carol
His family is up and on that road,
Fleeing the wrath of someone else’s quarrel,
Glancing behind and shouldering their load.

Whilst Herod rages still from his dark tower
Christ clings to Mary, fingers tightly curled,|
The lambs are slaughtered by the men of power,
And death squads spread their curse across the world.
But every Herod dies, and comes alone
To stand before the Lamb upon the throne.
~Malcolm Guite from Waiting on the Word

 

winterrose

 

And the slaughter of innocents and weary road for refugees continues unabated-
In observance of The Feast Day of the Holy Innocents:

 

There is no consolation for the families of those lost:
Their arms ache with emptiness tonight,
beds and pillows lie cold and unused,
blankets and cuddlies await all night hugs
that never come again.

There can be no consolation;
only mourning and great weeping,
sobbing that wrings dry
every human cell,
leaving dust behind,
dust, only dust
which is beginning
and end.

He came to us
for times such as this,
born of
the dust of woman and
the breath of Spirit,
God who bent down to
lie in manger dust,
walk on roads of dust,
die and be laid to rest as dust
in order to conquer
such evil as this
that could displace masses
and massacre innocents.

He became dust to be
like us
He began a mere speck in a womb
like us
so often washed away from life
as unwanted.

His heart beat
like ours
breathing each breath
like ours
until a fearful fallen world
took His
and our breath
away.

He shines through
the shadows of death
to guide our stumbling uncertain feet.
His tender mercies flow freely
when there is no consolation
when there is no comfort.

He hears our cries
as He cried too.
He knows our tears
as He wept too.
He knows our mourning
as He mourned too.
He knows our dying
as He died too.

God wept
as this happened.
Evil comes not from God
yet humankind embraces it.
Sin is a choice
we made from the beginning,
a choice we continue to make.

Only God can glue together
what evil has shattered.
He just asks us to hand Him
the pieces of our broken hearts.

We will know His peace
when He comes
to bring us home,
our tears will finally be dried,
our cells no longer
just dust,
never only dust
as we are glued together
by the breath of God
forevermore.

 

freezedriedrose

 

the tender mercy of our God,
    by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
to shine on those living in darkness
    and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace.
Luke 1: 78-79

 

 

An Advent Tapestry: The Tender Mercy

Luke 1: 78-79

“…because of the tender mercy of our God,
by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
to shine on those living in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace.”

Zechariah was an old man when he was told by an angel from God that his prayers would be answered–though childless, he and his wife Elizabeth would bear a son in their old age who would “make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

Zechariah understandably doubted: “How can I be sure of this?” and lost his ability to speak until the time came to name his son, at which time “his tongue was set free.”

So he sang a beautiful song of prophesy about his son John and the One who is to come, about the light amid the darkness.  He sings of the tender mercy of our God, a most touching confession from one who had doubted only months before.

Despite all our doubting and uncertainty, despite all the evidence of His loving sacrifice for us, despite our dwelling in the shadows, the rising son comes to us out of God’s tender mercy and caring for us.

Our feet will find the path of peace, one step at a time, one heart beat following another.

 

 

 

Advent Meditation–Dayspring

It never fails to surprise and amaze: the sunrise seems to come from nowhere.  There is bleak dark, then a hint of light over the foothills in a long thin line, and the appearance of subtle dawn shadows as if the night needs to cling to the ground a little while longer, not wanting to relent and let us go.  Color appears, erasing all doubt: the hills begin to glow orange along their crest, as if a flame is ignited and is spreading down a wick.  Ultimately the explosion occurs, spreading the orange pink palette unto the clouds, climbing high to bathe the glaciers of Mount Baker and onto the peaks of the Twin Sisters.

Dayspring. From dark to light, ordinary to extraordinary. This gift is from the tender mercy of our God, now glowing in the light of the new Day, guiding our feet on the pathway of peace.  We no longer must stumble in the shadows.

Luke 1:78-79