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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Christmas Child

Our 2nd beautiful daughter is a mere 7 and 1/2 pounds with a soaking wet diaper, but has managed to blast a monstrous hole in our day to day routine, leaving only shreds of recognizable normality. Her effect on our emotional stability has been little less.

I am sleep deprived.

So far that is the best explanation I can come up with for the emotion laden thought processes that have been swirling the mists of recent cognitive exercises. On the one extreme, I find myself reacting to mere annoyances with the intensity of dire emergencies. While on the other, I am easily sobered and rendered melancholy by the simplest reference to maternity or paternity.

In short I'm pretty pathetic - especially by my own standards.

Yes, it is a bit alarming to see such a remarkable and respectable stoicism suffering abandon. But I believe it is not all bad. Blinding though it may be, I've peered through the chinks of the adamant facade and seen a gleam which I have previously either discounted or shunned. Even with the birth of our first daughter, I was undaunted, the conqueror and champion bringing life to the world, and victory to our familial obligation.
And then I was content to be the victor.
And I was content.
Next objective...

My wife tells a completely different story - not about me - but about her approach to this phase of our journey. I will not tell her story for her. But she has lived without a facade around that part of her life and has drunk deeply from what I'm now sipping.

Don't worry I'm not planning on opening an orphanage or a day care. But, since the loss of our son a year ago on the 12th of this month, I have seen life, mortality, and the part I play in them in a far clearer fashion. Now with the birth and life of our daughter, my part in the saga has crystallized even a touch more.

...that to say...

I would like to communicate in the most reverent, and immensely inadequate way, how I have for the first time realized that our Lord Jesus Christ came to this world - as a little Baby. You understand what I mean, because you've been there too, when I say that though you give ascent to many concepts, there are times when concepts meet circumstances and meld to become reality for you. No one else necessarily gets the benefit of it, but YOU are keenly aware of a new reality - for YOU.
For me - this Christmas - it is the infant form of the God of the universe.

I've heard a few Christmas songs this year for the first time which bring out the question of, in essence "What was Jesus' understanding as a child of His surroundings and limitations." As I am hearing these songs, I am able to put the face of my own infant child into the scenario, and am astounded that the Creator would condescend to not just the form of his creation, but into the barest and most dependent state of its existence.

No doubt Joseph and Mary are baffled, in addition to the emotions that all the rest of us face in those first few hours and days. I suppose the one fear they needed not have was the one of losing this child. They had God's promise. Yet, undoubtedly the hosts of hell had planned His demise. In my mind's eye I can see the swords of hell's fiercest drawn as they converge on the hillside town of Bethlehem. Then - a blinding diversion among a group of shepherds, leaves them vulnerable to an assault from Heaven's mightiest. The skirmish is brief and decisive, and a soft whimper softly shakes the earth to its core.

There are a thousand questions with no answer. Did He cry? Did he relinquish his omniscience for a time? Did he immediately begin to bear the burden of our sins, or was his infancy spared such weight? I wonder.

I am left with one answer.

Thank you.