Can We Still Be Astonished? (Leslie Leyland Fields)

Screen Shot 2016-12-13 at 6.53.39 AMCan We Still Be Astonished?

We are weary of astonishment these last months, are we not? The national news delivers so many daily revelations and disturbances, so many scandals and questions, we’re nostalgic for security, routine, even boredom. Then comes Christmas, the Holy Days in the midst of it all. We’re worn out. We want to be expectant, but we don’t want any more surprises. And, frankly, we’ve run the Christmas routine our whole lives. We know how the show goes.

But maybe one more astonishment is possible. These words redeemed a difficult season for me many years ago. Make room. Take a minute. Maybe they’ll do the same for you?

PHOTO by artist Eugene Higgins

Let the Stable Still Astonish

Let the stable still astonish:
Straw-dirt floor, dull eyes,
Dusty flanks of donkeys, oxen;
Crumbling, crooked stone walls;
No bed to carry that pain,
And then, the child,
Rag-wrapped, laid to cry
In a trough.

Who would have chosen this?
Who would have said: “Yes,
Let the God of all the heavens and earth
be born here, in this place”?

Who but the same God
Who stands in the darker, fouler

Rooms of our hearts

And says, “Yes, Let the God of all the heavens and earth 
be born here —-

in this place.”

—–Leslie Leyland Fields



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