Inside the Miracle!

“Rise Up,” a stained glass window bank by Cbabi Bayoc at the Episcopal Church of the Holy Communion in University City, Missouri. Photo source: Episcopal Church of the Holy Communio

In this the second week of Advent, we move ever closer to the celebration of Christmas and the retelling of the story of Christ’s birth. Today I invite you to pause and ponder. Step aside from the long list of “to dos” step back from being consumed by expectations of a perfect star on top of a perfect Christmas tree. Step into silence and reflection, ponder the miracle of the nativity and the miracle of each and every one in that story and each and every one around you who shares today the hope of such a miracle. Helping you do this is the poem by Luci Shaw – Getting Inside the Miracle.

Getting Inside The Miracle
No. He is too quick. We never
catch Him at it. He is there
sooner than our thought or prayer.
Searching backward,
we cannot discover how
or get inside the miracle.

Even if it were here and now,
how would we describe the just-born trees
swimming into place at their green creation,
flowering upward into the air
with all their thin twigs quivering
in the gusts of grace? Or the great
white whales fluking
through crystalline seas
like recently inflated balloons?
Who could time the beat of the man’s heart
as the woman edges close enough to fill
his newly-hollowed side? Who will
diagram the gynecology
of the incarnation, the trigonometry
of trinity, or chemically analyze wine
from the well, or see inside
joints as they loosen, and whole limbs
and lives? Will anyone stand beside
the moving stone, or plot the bright
trajectory of ascension, or explain
the tongues of fire,
telling both heat and light?

Enough. Refrain.
Observe a finished work. Think:
Today-another miracle-the feathered
arrows of my faith may link
God’s bow and target. Luci Shaw

Come, O Wind of God,
come and blow off
the cobwebs of my doubt.
Come, O Wind of God
blow away all my old excuses,
and fill by heart and brain,
with a wind of change and hope.
Come, O Wind of God,
surround me and fill me
with Your gentle yet firm
gusts of grace
that I might open my sails
and by Your miracle, O loving God,
move through
this my one life, bearing
to all
along the way. Amen.

One thought on “Inside the Miracle!

  1. The combination of the poem and prayer help me to feel grounded during this busy time. I am reminded of a Christmas morning long ago when work, children, entertaining, bad weather and not enough time had me feeling especially frantic. As always, I got up early before anyone else and experienced a series of minor irritating mishaps that seemed larger than life at the time; spilled coffee, burnt toast, etc. I opened the front door to a rainy, windy morning in order to let out our rambunctious Lab, and seeing the morning paper he grabbed its plastic bag by the wrong end, causing the newspaper to spread itself widely on the wet driveway. As I was ran out to gather up the mess, one full page blew onto the yard. That page, pale blue with a single bright star at the top had three words on it: It’s a boy. I have never forgotten that moment and the calming effect it had on me that morning. O Wind of God.


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