Where are the humble kings? Those who do nothing but what their father tells them to do? Where are those who set aside power who leave glory who serve who wash the feet of friend and foe who wear sandals who cook fish on the shore who feed multitudes with a few fish and rolls who change water to wine for wedding guests who walk with, feed, and touch those deemed unclean who spend time with those others shun who come not to judge, but to save who give their lives for their people. Where is a King of uncommon love? Look to a manger. Look to a cross. Then come. Come, let us adore Him.
What is the best gift but food for one who is hungry, and drink for one who thirsts? For those who feel most unlovable, love feels most crucial, yet most inaccessible. For those who’ve done wrong, the most meaningful gift is forgiveness in full. For this, God set His power aside to be born of a virgin as a helpless newborn boy, reliant on a woman’s breast for nourishment, heart for love, and her tutelage and care for survival and growth. For this, Christ Jesus came: to feed, to love, to quench, and to fully forgive.
The extravagance of the season, embodied: God wrapped in infant.
This photo is not a well-focused, balanced, artistic photo. It is just my snapshot of homemade chicken noodle soup, made by my super caring husband. It is one thing I have to be thankful for while I am sick on my favorite week of the year. And there are so many others. My cozy home, with the Christmas tree up, and a comfortable recliner from which to enjoy it. My soft lavender robe, and just-as-soft tissues for my nose. A family member who will be doing a Thanksgiving meal “porch drop” for Keith and me, and other family members who offered the same and friends and students who have offered food and help and loving words of encouragement and who check in on me just because they are selfless souls who care deeply and a doctor able to see me on the same day I called and insurance to pay the doctor and the medicine and a comfortable spare bedroom for Keith to sleep in so I don’t keep him awake with my cough and WhatsApp to keep in touch for free with my daughter in India and the amazing, gentle care she is receiving for a herniated disc, from grandmotherly women and doctors making daily home visits to the room she is renting from these women and the ease of heart it helps me feel while she is there alone and in pain and without my help and the Father of All who is no less there than He is here and the vast array of birds and fun critters outside my huge windows that let in all the light and loving souls in my life who share their beautiful words and prayers and sentiments and lives and parents who passed on, but left themselves in unspeakable ways right here in my heart and children who struggle, but l.o.v.e. in all the ways afforded to them, and who I proudly call my own and granddaughters who give joy in ways I never could have imagined and their daddy who is not just an in-law to me and music and poetry and books and life and Jesus in the nativity beneath my tree, and His saving cross at the top and the Word of God and the Lamb of God and the love of God and no period, because there is no end
“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you have set in place: What is mankind that you are mindful of them? Human beings that you care for them?” ~ Psalm 8:3-4
My place atop the Christmas tree may seem a lofty place for me, but humbly, I point down below through greenery and lights aglow to manger scene that holds the Christ who paid the price in sacrifice for every woman, man, and child – this perfect Lamb – this undefiled Rescuer, Redeemer, God I represent, and richly laud.
Written in response to Walt Wojtanik’s prompt at Poetic Bloomings to write about Christmas from the point of view of an inanimate object.If you look closely, you can see the cross that tops my Christmas tree.
They come to my city from distant lands – Homelands. Their reasons, many and varied – most, too heartrending to ponder.
They arrive parched – a desiccation born of dearth and death. Thirst knows no race, class, religion, or language. It knows only burning need for a well of hope from which to dip.
The ache of a woman, isolated in a strange new residence and unable to connect to life-giving resources, drowns in unanswered questions. She holds no words to pose them, and no near ear to hear her broken attempts. She thirsts at the well of understanding.
The profound pain of parents daily delivering their children into the hands of strangers who struggle to teach and to reach these children who hear only indistinct sound, and see the blank stare of confusion. Parents, unable to engage, thirst at the well of advocacy.
The fatigued fret of the soul weak with illness who has no visible path to wellness. The one whose world is silent, limited, and invisible. This soul thirsts at the well of wellbeing.
The yearning of a man to make known his skills, let alone make use of them to provide as he once did. To make known his intent to be self-sufficient. To be quickly found to be hardworking and capable. He thirsts at the well of opportunity.
The deep craving of the foreigner to make known their honorable intentions. To prove they are grateful and giving; loving and fun-loving; brave and tender. They thirst at the well of accurate perception.
They arrive parched from a common thirst – a thirst ready to be quenched in a city flowing with Water for Ishmael.
In Genesis 21:14-20, we read of Hagar and her son Ishmael, who were sent to the desert to die. God heard the boy crying from thirst, and He provided a well from which to drink. Water for Ishmael is named for this scripture passage. WFI’s intent is to quench the thirst of the “strangers in the desert,” by following the instructions of Leviticus 19:34: “You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”
“Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.” ~ John 20:15