This time: a meditation for the season (Advent, Christmas 2017)

From birth pangs,

whimpers of pain and hope,

and from babies, gurgles of possibility.


Love is always born in new mangers,

and also in graves of little ones

in Sandy Hook and Bethlehem (note the address: Palestine)

and in corpses of elephants outside Nairobi

and drowned Syrian refugee children

and men dead in U.S. streets because they’re black.


As the loud mouths of lost liars

screech in public places,

confounding our better angels,

we scream back

shut the fuck up!


But for a moment, can we press “pause”

and with wise men and women take time

to seek a birth place or a grave

and stand quietly?


Can we hear Sophia (Wisdom)

tell us stories of the baby

born — and grown up —

in Bethlehem, yes, in Palestine?


Shh! She says, listen

to what this Jesus said, see

what he did, and

understand him well

this time.


Love comes down always

to this and only this:

Make justice.

Show kindness and compassion.

Practice “revolutionary patience.”*

Walk gently on the earth.

And stand together

as if your lives

depend on it

because they do.


Carter Heyward                         * term coined by poet-theologian Dorothee Soelle



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