Sunday, December 19, 2004


You came to see the baby.

You didn't? You thought I was going to say something beautiful, or deep, or profound. That's really nice of you, but listen, I'll tell you a little something about me, and it's really all you need to know, my bio, so to speak. Personally, I don't really have anything for you. I didn't come with anything, and when I go, I ain't taking nothing with me. I don't even think I'd be here at all if this wasn't free and easy to use. I'm only here to show you the Baby, and whether or not you know it, that is the only reason why you're here.

I know. It ain't what you expectected. It's kinda chilly, and that's a hell of a draft. Makes you worry about Him. Is He going to be okay out here. Look, don't worry about Him. He didn't come all this way to catch His death of pneumonia. It's you you need to be concerned about.

Yeah, you're right. It smells like shit out here. And animals. This ain't the Ritz Carleton. It is what it is, but this is what God chose. I think He's making a statement. It's messy, too. This wasn't no hippie, home birth, candles glowing situation. It wasn't no sanitized, sterile, hospital. And it ain't the Inn. It is what it is. It's what God chose; dark, but starry night, hay, dirt, manger, animals, shit, cold breeze, blood, placenta, embryotic fluid. That stuff can get funky. It ain't what you expected, is it?

Come on in, and kneel down. The hay is scratchy, but it is what it is. Look at Jesus. See how tiny He is. You forget how small a newborn is until you see one. It don't make sense, do it? God coming here in the night, outside, where there ain't nothing but animals and shepherds. It's a trip. I don't understand it, but like you, God just wants me to sit here and see Him. This Baby. This God. It's a mystery.

You can touch him. Don't worry about washing your hands. Your germs aren't going to make God sick. I know He don't look like God. I know. It's crazy, but it's what God chose. Put your hand in there. His little fist will grab your finger. Amazing ain't it? Just do that for a minute, don't rush. Where you got to go so fast?

Smell him. It's not quite Johnson's baby lotion is it, but it's nice. It's the smell of a real baby, still moist from the waters of the womb. You gotta love how real that is. It's a coppery, acrid smell. Kinda like the smell of fresh blood, but this ain't the spilled blood that will kill Him. It ain't time for that yet. This is birth blood. It's different, and similar, at the same time.

You can kiss Him. Go ahead. He loves it. Look at how He responds to you. He loves to be kissed and cuddled. You ever hear that old wedding vow, with my body, I thee worship? They don't use that any more. Probably scares people. But you can worship with your body. Kiss Him some more. He's a baby. Love on him. Take your time. It's the most natural thing in the world.

Pick him up. It's okay, He ain't as delicate as He looks. Hold him. Don't worry about him spitting up on you. Whatever He gives you it's all good. Believe me, you can do a lot worse than have the Son of Man projectile vomit on you. Hold him well, though. He's resilient, but you can still drop Him, and that would be worse for you than it'd be for Him.

Adore Him. Take your time. Sit here all night if you have to. Sit here until you're different. Stare at Him. Breath Him in. He's a wondrous, amazing Grace. Immanuel. God with us. God for us, looking like us, drinking milk from His mama's breast, tiny and vulnerable, showing us that He's down with us. He's out here in the dark and cold, and He's needy like all babies are. What is God doing here? What is this nativity? Maybe if we sit here long enough, adoring Him, we'll figure it out. We'll understand what God is doing.

Take Him with you. I'm for real. He's yours. You can keep Him. Maybe if we take Him with us, we can get over all this crazyness about December 25. That's just a day, but this here, this baby is Christ. If we take Him with us, maybe we'll figure out that we're supposed to have a relationship with Him. We're supposed to keep adoring Him. He really belongs to us, in the same way we belong to Him.

Sounds like a lot of responsibility doesn't it? Nah. You're gonna be alright. Thy kingdom come is in your arms.

You got everything you need.


bobbie said...

oh woman, i was there, i could smell the barn, hear the cry and see that baby face looking up from nursing. never has it been more real. thank you. i'm so grateful your blogging voice is not lost to us, what a gift you have!

Will said...

Beautiful. Thanks for the reminder.

upwords said...

Aw, yeah. It was funky, bloody and beautiful like that. Thank you for bringing me back to the baby. Thank you for being your beautiful, empty-handed, open-hearted self.

Thank you.

Holding the baby,

violet said...

Dear Claudia,

I finally got around to reading your story at FIF just now. It's WOW! But this is even better. You're a great writer with a gift of voice and honesty. But more than all that, your writing is slathered in oil - the oil of the Holy Spirit. What more could any Christian writer ask than that God uses their work to do His?

Blessings in 2005!