The Caregivers, a poem for Christmas

As Mary and Joseph cared for their son and as each of us cares for the persons entrusted to us, so, too, God cares for each one of us.

 "I will never forget you my people I have carved you on the palm of my hand

   I will never forget you I will not leave you orphaned I shall never forget my own."Isaiah 49

God has taken care of the two of us this year ... with tenderness and mercy. Our great joy was to be with the circus, even if it was only for a short time this year. As soon as we were on the road, we felt "at home" again.

With awe and wonder and eyes of love they observed him, 

ears open to his every move and sigh, 

studying the rhythms of his tiny body, 

anticipating his needs and cries.

With affection and joy they adjusted their daily lives to his,

shielding him from too much noise and light,

fulfilling his every hunger and need,

even in the middle of the night.

With welcome and tenderness they took him in their hearts,

hugging, nurturing, caressing with delight,

so he would feel confident and secure,

protected from danger and fright.

The angels said this tiny vulnerable baby is God!

  How can that be so ... a God in need?

Is it possible to find God in such littleness?

Did the shepherds and kings really believe?

Is God so in need of mutuality and intimacy?

Does God, like us, need to receive?

Is not God pure gift, life-giver?

A creator who nourishes and feeds?

Is not God "my" caregiver, "my" friend?

Is it not God who meets "my" every need?

How can it be that God is dependant?

that God is vulnerable and needs me ?

It surely didn't have to be that way.

 Did God decide to be so?

And does he cry out to me as he did to Joseph

"Arise, take the baby and go"?

God, do we, you and me, touch each other most deeply

where we are mutually vulnerable and in need?

   Do we grow most in intimacy

by me being confident in you and you in me?

God, do you really seek intimacy and mutuality with "me"?

And awe and wonder, affection and joy, welcome and tenderness,

as you did from Mary and Joseph,

when you became a baby boy?