04 December 2008



Would it be gratuitous to linger here
Ankle deep in manure?
To rest my eyes, engage my brain
Fixing on the burn in my nostrils?
To nudge a pile with my toe,
Revealing the ripest aroma,
Seeking the rawest of raw in this stable?

Is it superfluous that we lean,
Faces hovered over rotting compost?
Digging, churning, turning
Unearthing decay and fermentation?
Prodding the layers, loosening the debris
While searching for words to describe its offense?

An un-called-for experiment
This ancillary venture
When matters of pressing importance
And the delicacy of polite society
Apply their subtle pressure.

Perhaps it is

But I am arrested.
Stopped. Still.
And the question lives in my head like the acrid smell lives in my nose-

Was it gratuitous that He should linger here
Ankle deep in our manure?
To rest His eyes and engage His brain
Fixing His heart toward those that burn His nostrils?
To embrace fallen man through His presence here?
Revealing our ripest aroma,
Seeking to save the rawest of the raw?

Was it superfluous that He leaned down
Face-first into our rotting man-culture?
Digging, churning, turning
Unearthing decay and fermentation?
Prodding through my layers, loosening the debris
Supplying words, impelling my search- despite my offense?

An un-called-for experience
This ancillary venture
When faces of holiness and glory
And the divinity of heavenly society
Enjoy unsullied communion.

Messiah. Emmanuel.

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Blogger Jeanne Damoff said...

Beautiful, Erin. God was born in a stable and, in a very real sense, remained there. Thanks for the powerful visual. I will carry it with me through this harried season and be far richer for it.

Love, Jeanne

10:40 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Ahh...the "extra-ness" of Jesus...so much more than we would have ever thought to ask for. I love how God is like that.

1:40 PM  
Blogger Schweers' Mom said...

I love the poem, Erin. It's so cool that we all contemplated different things this week - very awesome indeed. What a great exercise - I've enjoyed it!

3:39 PM  
Blogger greta lynn hernandez said...

Exactly! Would we have come to Him if He had not entered the rotting culture in which we find ourselves?

Beautiful, Erin!

4:01 PM  
Blogger Joelle said...

Oh, oh, oh. God with us, in the thick of the aromatic piles of humanity. You have put it in such a profound new way for me. Gratitude.

7:48 PM  

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