“Love is born with a dark and troubled face,
when hope is dead and in the most unlikely place,
Love is born: Love is always born.” (Michael Leunig)
What if God was not the object of our knowledge but the cause of our wonder?
If God is the object of our knowledge, faith is a conclusion.
If God is the cause of our wonder, faith is an invitation into wonder.
Faith is an invitation to wonder anew about this story where Love is born in a dark, filthy cave. Faith is an invitation to wonder anew about Love being born in a manger, an animal’s feeding trough, that gleams with the saliva of the oxen that have just eaten there. That hardly seems like a likely place for the birth of love and hope and possibility. Maybe the less likely the better. We might just wonder how Love might be born in unlikely places today, places with dark and troubled faces where hope is dead. We might just wonder how we are part of that story.
My soul doesn’t need the sanitized Hallmark Christmas cards absent of the pain, mess and fear of this wondrous story. You know the ones…where Mary has an easy labor and recovers from childbirth in a heartbeat sitting serenely dressed in lovely blue silk. Joseph hovers about as if the whole ordeal went exactly as planned. The shepherds are ready to change a diaper or two.
No, my soul longs to wonder about a story of Love being born where hope is dead. My soul longs to wonder about a story of an impoverished girl whose life is lived on the margins. She is exhausted, frightened, miles from home in a dark and scary place. My soul longs to wonder about the mystery of Love entering the world in that unlikely place.
It was dirty. It smelled. My soul longs to wonder how something holy and beautiful can be born in such a dark and troubled place. My soul longs to wonder how that story is my story, our story.
Meister Eckhart said, “We are all meant to be mothers of God, for God is always needing to be born.”
I wonder if I am the one with the dark and troubled face where hope is dead.
I wonder if Love is always born.
(Originally published by Rev Steven Koski, Bend, Oregon)