Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Unvarnished Story

the beauty
the radiance
the peace
were they there?
Mary
heavy, bulky
child with child,
travelling at term
no padded wagon
just a stubborn pack animal
no backrest
no hot coffee to go
long days
in the cold
in humiliation
to the ancestral home
family friends waiting?
ahh, no room for her.
rejection
discomfort
uncertainty
a dirty stable
fatigue
labor pains
no midwife
no mother to reassure
just an inexperienced man
Joseph
obedient
dutiful
useless arguing with God.
not his plan.
not his child.
not his way.
no friends no family
no proud cigars
the butt of jokes.
really God?
an indifferent town
and
an unpadded stable
failure.
a smelly place
animal droppings
cold hard noisy
no chair no bed
a trough for a bassinet
scratchy straw
poking in blankets
animals snorting
no hot water
no nurses
no hospital corners
no mirrors
no sink
no toothbrush
no lip gloss
a small, wet baby
pushed out the usual way
who helped?
who cut the cord?
who taught Mary to nurse?
who cleaned it up?
strange visitors
shepherds kings angels
gold, frankincense and myrhh
but still
no room service
no diaper service
no rest
scary dreams
warnings
running away in the night
soldiers slashing
babies dying
mother's crying
tragedy.
Her Baby
alive
safe
hope
can you feel it?
surviving
singing
anyway.
in the mess.
rejoice
rejoice
Immanuel
has come to thee
O mourning Israel

hope.



Isaiah 9:6
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

9 comments:

caitsmom said...

Karen, this is lovely! Are these your words. Truly moving. Peace.

Beckypdj said...

This is wonderful. Do you mind if I link it to my blog?

Robin said...

Did you write this Karen? It's wonderful, and I want to post it in my Advent blog.

Anonymous said...

Love this! May I copy it? Are you the author? It's beautiful!

karen gerstenberger said...

Beautiful. Thank you for visualizing this for us. I'll bet it is much closer to the truth than the "varnished" stories we hear. You are gifted, beautiful friend.

Anonymous said...

Mom! Great piece! You are such an excellent writer! Love you <3

joanne

Karen said...

For you who asked, I did write this piece this morning. Please feel free to link or copy. Merry Christmas and thanks for reading and being there for me.
Love, Karen

Daisy said...

Love this, Karen. Wow! Thank you for allowing us to pass it along. Beautiful!

Mich

Anna Looper said...

Karen that is so raw and in the moment--I love it. I see a difference in your writing since moving to the farm. It has clarity as though you are finding a way to stay focused and have learned how to walk beside Joey daily instead of carrying him. Your grief seems to be a tool now and not so much a fog.

You can tell the difference in the fog verses tool method of dealing with such a great loss by how your emotions respond. Fog is difficult to see and move and causes pause in our life. Grief as a tool means you walk beside it and accept it as part of your day. As a tool it is a comfort to know you can think about Joey every minute of every day and still keep on course.

I'm happy to see that Joey is now walking beside you and being there in the sweetness of the day. Carrying the burden zaps all your energy but walking beside it is more of a comfort. Holding hands with your grief means that you are now ready to lead it and not it lead you.

It will always be there and will never be less--it has just changed positions. You have shifted the contents of the package you carry so that it is more evenly distributed in your life. You let God show you how to carry a heavy load.

Big hugs to you.