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Tuesday, November 26, 2002

First Draft
Let Me Hold Him

Little one, you joined us under the most
Distressing circumstances; conditions
Could not have been more harsh.
Your arrival was indeed unexpected.
(Christ, forgive us.)
Surely, though, some kind soul
Heard of the need, found the new family,
And brought a soft blanket, a fresh cloth,
A basket of food. I know I would have.
(Christ, humble us.)
As you lay in her arms, did she
Smile, or cry? Did he reach toward you,
And hold you both close? Were you
Baptized, then, by their tears?
(Christ, cleanse us.)
And the shepherds, sung to by angels,
How quickly did they come?
What gifts could they bring?
Did they gather 'round, with hopeful eyes,
And arms outstretched?
(Christ, embrace us.)
And later, comes the magi,
Following the light, taking the long way,
Their gifts of gold, of spice, and still,
They too draw close, and open their arms--
(Christ, among us.)
Now the miracle draws near again;
The light shines in the heavens,
The angels sing; gifts are delivered,
And received. A mother smiles, and cries.
A father wonders, still. We creep closer;
Hesitant; may we?
She offers you to us, and we accept;
We lift you up. Little one,
You are as light as breath,
As heavy as the earth.
Soft as the clouds,
Tough as nails.
Emmanuel, may I hold you?
(Christ, save us.)

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