I would like to give you, dear reader, this poem as a gift, in the spirit of the 12 days of Christmas and traveling with the Magi towards Epiphany, to give our humble gifts to the Christ Child. Many Christmas blessings to you all, and a joyful New Year!
My dear Adult, ‘tis Christmas time,
you know this well I’m sure – and yet
‘tis what you know compels my rhyme.
I pray you these words to not forget.
My dear Adult, please lend your ear,
your eyes, your heart to me.
I beg a moment, with me turn
now to the Nativity.
Look with me with eyes anew
at what you know so well
and tell me Who’s at the center, tell –
do you see what you knew you knew
or what is before you now?
There to the center our gaze is drawn
We look with shepherds, sheep and angels upon
the face of One
the face of the Child, the Christ, the Son.
Between Mother, a virgin, and father, chaste spouse,
a son as yet is He.
God has come,
His choice to be born
not in might –
clothed in humanity.
My dear Adult, ask yourself –Why?
Forget the answer you knew.
Hear my plea to open your life
to the message of the Child, to you:
“My dear Adult, you have done well,
you’ve grown up strong and tall.
But if you desire to live like me
you must yet one more thing:
Dear Adult, I invite you to fall.
I invite you to fall
not from grace but into it,
by going down, not going up –
by becoming again a Child as I –
by growing down, not growing up.
For though you think that you will reach Me
by climbing, climbing, climbing up unto,
It is I, the Child who shows you the way
by inclining, inclining inclining down to you.
I descended to meet you where you are
and yet you yourself are not there –
you present me with only pretense,
your rationalizations, your fear.
You forgot what true humility means,
thus I came in the poverty of youth:
you think to be humble is to degrade yourself
but I tell you: humility is truth.
To preserve the self with consternation,
to hide in shame for what does lack
is not the way of the Child.
The Child fears not soul’s revelation,
and holds naught back,
trusting fully all the while.
Thus the Child is free
before the Father’s love
which holds the Child
binds the heart to Him above.
‘Tis only thus, my dear Adult
that you will have strength sufficient
For with the Father, you can do all
without, you are deficient.
If you think
to stay your way
and live grown-up, on your own,
My love urges me yet to say
there is something you must know.
If you look deeply
at the wood that forms my infant Cradle,
you will see with eyes anew
the Cross beneath the stable.
My Cradle and my Cross are one:
As the first leads to the other
yet through the second you must go
to be born unto the other.
But do not fear, dear Adult of mine,
for where I call you I have gone
your suffering will not be in vain
and my love will carry you along.
This is the greatest mystery
of life and death, together,
of sacrifice and fruitfulness,
the way of grace, forever.
The Father wills it, the Child ascents,
and the Spirit thus reveals
Heaven’s sweetest slow descent
unto the earth,
be all into His Children.
Thus the winter of our sin does melt,
and the world is warmed
into the flowering of abundant life –
Tis this we celebrate
each Christmas morn.”
The Child had spoken,
His words yet resound ringing
And with this I’ll end,
my last plea bringing.
Tis a risk, you say.
Yes – the greatest risk of all
to leave your Adulthood behind
to bow, incline, to bend to Him and fall;
To take the leap of death
that ends in being born
as He, a Child
did come to us
that very Christmas morn.
The price so high,
so great the task
that I cannot demand nor ask
but only invite
and extend my plea —
Oh won’t you, oh will you,
won’t you come along with me?
For I, dear Adult, am grown up like you
and need to grow down again.
Let us go together, then,
my dear Adult,
Let us go together then
and before the Child bend,
our knees, descend
to willingly become as He, like Him.
Oh won’t you come with me,