Saturday, December 25, 2010
Witness: The Child
The season of darkness and warmth is ending, the darkness wet; the warmth moist. It has been an odd sensation to be swimming while connected to a throbbing, elongated life preserver.
But it has not been a season of silence. I am keen aware of the liquidity, the protective squishiness of living inside my mother. Like the continuous splashing of diving into a deep pool.
I hear my mother’s heartbeat.
It is strong, not only because of her youth. It beats with purpose, with mission, with knowing what it is, and what it can cost, to accept the commands of the Lord.
And it comforting, perhaps I can clearly hear the sounds outside – animals, voices, the hooves of galloping horses, soldiers rudely shouting.
When we rode into Jerusalem, my mother seated on a donkey (they bray a lot), the noise was chaotic and enormous, a symphony of cacophony, the bustle and excitement of a city expecting a king. It is a city that will be disappointed, murderously disappointed, a city that betrays both itself and its destiny.
The walls that have protected this human body I have are now pulsating in imminent collapse. The time is now, an abbreviated, parsed second of heavenly time.
My parents will always be mystified and a little frightened of me. I will have to tell my earthly father to teach me his trade in wood, and he will do that, and do it well. He has already accepted me as a gift, but he will learn than he, too, has much to teach and give to this gift.
And my young mother. Even when she doubts, and she will have doubts, something would be wrong if she did not, even in her doubts she will love me. For three years of my ministry she will watch me with growing alarm because she loves me.
She does not yet know that I am born to die to rise.
And her heart will break, for a time.
Now it begins, with the cry of an infant held by his earthly father as he cuts the cord connecting me to my mother. He has cleansed with knife in the fire.
Even through the mists of infant eyes, I see the joy on their faces.
Related: Witness: The Innkeeper
Witness: The Shepherd
Witness: The Man from the East
Witness: The Angel
Witness: The Young Couple
Illustration: Baby Jesus by Deborah Woodall via Mark Mallett.