Flesh for the Word

The Word became Wisdom and lived among us : but foolishly we missed its simplicity. So the Word became Light and lived among us : but we smothered its flame. Then Word became Truth and lived among us : but we disbelieved its sincerity. And the Word became Hope and lived among us : but we scorned its optimism. So the Word became Patience and lived among us : but we chased it away in our anxiety. Then the Word became Peace and lived among us : but we trampled on its careful footsteps. And the Word became Strength and lived among us : but we were caught out in our weakness. So the Word became Understanding and lived among us : but we misunderstood in our haste to know.  Then the Word became Kindness and lived among us : but we exploited its openness. And when the Word became Generosity and lived among us : we abused its hospitality. So the Word became Self control and lived among us : but we mocked its prudence. Then the Word became Goodness and lived among us : but we become lost in complacency. And the Word became Humility and lived among us : but we were puffed up on our own ego. So the Word became Gentleness and lived among us : but we refused to be tender.  And when the Word became Love and lived among us : we rejected it in anger.

So the Word became Flesh full of Wisdom and Light and Truth and Hope and Patience and Peace and Strength and Understanding and Kindness and Generosity and Self control and Humility and Goodness and Gentleness and Love:

And; Cradled in its warmth, welcoming its insight, captivated by its brightness, Revelling in its honesty, Engaged with its vision, Waiting with diligence, Dwelling within its boundaries. Supported in its embrace, Cherishing its knowledge, Partnered in its friendship, Gifted with abundance, Recognising our abandon, Humbled by its letting go, Receiving its mercy and Held in its compassion:  We might glimpse its glory. 

Can we? I mean really understand, ever this mystical knowing?  Is it possible to expand our imaginations a little from John’s theological account of the Christ and the nativity of Jesus pared down to an incarnate phrase?  Can we go a little further into the mystery to understand what it might mean for the ‘Word’ to be ‘flesh’ amongst us?  And perhaps then recognise the incarnation when it comes.

Just the shoes

Was it you that day?
I forgot to ask your name
on the steps – you fell
backwards, I turned
too late.  You, crumpled
cracked head at my feet.
We wait together on the steps for
help to come, head cradled in my lap
crying out for your shoe. It came off.
I guess, I don’t recall, like your name, when you fell.
‘Don’t worry about your shoes, you need to be still’
I said.  They came, you went in the ambulance
with both your shoes.  Funny how I remember
the shoes, but not your name.

Why those shoes? As I walked away
through the crowd.  Perhaps they
were fashionable, expensive.  I don’t know.
Ordinary trainers to me, a little scuffed
around the edges, like the rest of you. I realise,
scuffed around the edges is what people see,
the names they call you, what does it matter
when, if you reply or not it’s always the same meaning
‘not here’, ‘move on’, ‘don’t be in my way,’ When was it
that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and
gave you clothing? But your shoes the only pair you had,
no name to me just the shoes. Because you needed them.