December 11, 2010

Ankle deep in diamonds

Fidgety boys wearing bath robes, smirking under terry towel head gear.
Nervous girls in white dresses holding wire haloes in place.
A serious girl under a pole-lamp, bending over a bassinet.

It had been a grey Christmas Eve in our Saskatchewan village, but when we left the church the sky had cleared. Now, flecks of stars and a gibbous moon cast a slant of silvery light on a fresh fall of snow.

My big sister, Elizabeth, took my six-year-old hand, and as we moved out from beneath the direct glow of the a street light by the church, we were suddenly ankle deep in diamonds. And then, just as suddenly, we were the wise men following the star. We were the shepherds beholding the angel. We were the angel bringing delirious tidings of joy. We were Joseph, filled with concern and anticipation.

The story, awkwardly acted by kids whose names I knew, sealed itself inside me through the wordless speech of that night. I was embraced deep within and awakened to a big new fluid circumstance.

Believing was seeing.
Breathing was praying.
Walking was worshipping.
Holding hands with Elizabeth held me in arms universal.
Never again to be a me--I was we.


  1. Just lovely, Stephen. Somehow your post connects in my mind with a YouTube video I viewed this morning as I was clearing out my Inbox. It's one of those ubiquitous Hallelujah Chorus-in-the-marketplace ones that have been circulating this season. This one happened in a foodcourt.

    Those grand strains sung against a backdrop of Arby's, Subway, Famous Wok, New York Fries, and A&W, suddenly brought the divine into the mundane so powerfully it almost brought tears to my eyes.

    If you want to view it, it's here.

  2. Beautiful. This post brought back fond memories of my own experiences at Christmas concerts - as a participant, a director and a parent. God bless.

  3. Thanks Stephen for the reminder that the wonder of God's creation can be a seal on our awkwardness, not just children, but as fumbling adults as well.


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