Saturday, December 26, 2009

this day after

It was some time after seminary
my best friend, Burt, got married,
and then a few more years before
they had a child. I remember
calling one day; he answered,
saying he was lying on the bed
looking at the baby. I asked,
“Do you ever look down and say,
‘You’re going to stay here?’”

Something about this day after,
this morning beyond the manger,
that reminds me God chose to
come into the world not fully
formed. Jesus looked up from
the straw much like Burt’s baby
from the bedspread, more
enchanted, perhaps, that he
could chew on his toes than

Who he would grow up to be.
I was two weeks old my first
Christmas; a half century of
Decembers have since passed
(twenty more birthdays than
Jesus had) and couldn’t have
imagined that I would take
over fifty years to get from
Corpus Christi to North Carolina

Jesus considered lilies, cleansed
lepers, and chastised leaders who
thought they’d cornered the truth,
but not before he’d been a boy,
a teenager, a young man; not before
he had increased in wisdom and
stature. But that first morning,
Mary might have looked and loved,
and said, smiling, “You’re staying.”


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