Saturday, December 14, 2013

wild night, holy night

{photo by me}
I want to talk about the wildness.

did you know that this season is the start of the wilding?

we don’t talk about it, we don’t focus on it, hardly ever. we focus on the two extremes, the war on Christmas or the silence of the must-be-holy.

there is the madhouse of the mall, the shopping centers pulsing and writhing with need and want and heads down to make it from one aisle to another. or there is the Silent Night, the soft moments that are left behind the closed doors of imagination, the things that cause lit candles to flicker to the tune of Oh Holy Night

those are your options. pick one and have done.

but I can’t. I can’t release that wildness, the one we feel obligated to leave at the door as we find our places in the pews in their special liturgical rows. because there was screaming and howling and blood, so much blood. and was there even a midwife, anyone save the rough carpenter hands fumbling? It was foreign, one virgin touching another in a way far different than they could have anticipated.

there was wildness. this I promise.

but it’s not just the cave and the hills and the shepherds humming the song of the expectation to their flocks. It’s not just the mooing of cows to the tune of birthing screams.

it’s the sacred conflict, the holiness of the One long awaited slipping in a rush from body to hands in darkness. it’s the way we strip away this rawness, this wildness, the very moment the tree is tucked away and the candles are guttering in their sconces.

{photo by jennifer upton}
we wipe Him down and place Him neatly on His prepared shelf, and say, “there You go. You were so dirty, and now You look like us.”

it’s not that He was Anglo-Saxon or Mediterranean, it’s not that He was born in humble state and then raised up high. it’s that He was born wild, raised in His own Messianic rebellion. and then He poured out the essence of Himself on the ground into a puddle that splashed against their shoes.

but we would rather see Him clean. His birth was blood and straw. His life was dirt and wind and callouses on His fingers and blisters on His toes. His death was blood and splintered wood. His burial was ice cold stone and humbly woven linen strips.

there is a reason for the falling to knees and whispering, “oh night, divine.” 

because what is more holy that the Mighty taking a seat beside the bleeding and pulling them against themselves? what is more sacred than the Lion taking the wounded lamb and letting her blood turn His mane from brown to crusty sodden red?

oh, holy night. 

1 comment:

  1. We would rather see him clean.

    I wonder if that's because we would rather see ourselves clean, too?


I look at you and see all the ways a soul can bruise, and I wish I could sink my hands into your flesh and light lanterns along your spine so you know there's nothing but light when I see you. :: Shinji Moon