Tuesday, December 24, 2013

14)Although it's been said, many times many ways...

"God is watching us, God is wa-"

Take me to your leader.

Sharing space.

I remember I remember...
The archbishop at St. Paul's,
The tracks, the Sierra Nevada, Christmas dinner out the back of the
Suburban, and snow in my beard,
Apricot Jam in oatmeal containers, Candy Cane cookies, Call of Duty...
I remember standing on the edge of the Atlantic and welcoming Christmas
On the jetty, just you and me and the guitar and Switchfoot's On Fire.
Worshipping as a family, and The Grinch read aloud in the animated
Cadence of my father's voice.

What's with the baby?
We asked for your help,
Couldn't you have sent someone else?

I remember I remember...
Door to door cookie deliveries.
Services in at least five different languages:
The Princeton choir, the coughing lady on
the Zócalo, the little blue orphan who had found a
Home with his fingers in the frosting, Krispy Kremes
for gas station cashiers, caroling in shelters and old folks' homes
and town squares and churches. 

And what good are a couple carols?
My heart aches, that once caroled heavily, they
Never see us again. Keep singing, but...

Peace on earth.

Sharing space.

Make my heart a manger,
Let it be your bed.

We were celebrating Christmas today.  I was on the stage, sang a song, что за дитя: 
"И что за радость сейчас рожденна, в моём сердце, в нутри меня?"
But what joy can live in a sinner's heart?  A messy shitty stable where the guests
Haven't always been royalty.
They don't really do Christmas here in Kyrgyzstan.  Half the songs we sang
Weren't even Christmas songs.   There's this one "I run into your arms"
we sang.  Embracing God.  Not just believe, not fathom, but hug.  What the Hell, God?!?
I don't feel it, I don't want it, this...isn't me right now, I can't sing this.

So at about that moment Veronica came up and gave me the biggest hug a six-year can give. 
And she stayed there, holding me, for at least an entire verse, before she flitted off and pulled
Alëna forward to dance with her before God, right under the stage. 

I cried because Veronica ran into my arms, she saw God in me.
I cried because Veronica's arms, although she's half my size, were the arms of God
Wrapped around me in that moment.

Imago Dei.
Hands and feet.
In him we live and we move and we breathe and we have our being.

The word became flesh. 
Not distant, not 2000 years past.
He was just the first among many brothers.
And wherever two are gathered and harmonize prayer:
Christmas, Merry Christmas.
Joy to the world.
The Lord is come.

James Metelak is a poet, photographer, musician, and the primary curator of Headpiece full of Straw's 25 Days of Christmas.  Check out his other work at sandpiperparade.weebly.com, youtube or his poetry blog

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