Three or four ornaments have fallen under the tree, byproducts of Sam’s curiosity. From where I’m sitting, I now realize the missing sippy cups are under the coffee table. Coats hang from the backs of most of the dining room chairs.
Cade is asleep on the sofa, wrapped in his blanket like a mummy. Some of the books fell off the shelf tonight, a scattered pile of pages. I need to unload the dishwasher. Oh well, that can wait until tomorrow morning.
A stinkbug meanders across the ceiling. The kitchen is rather disorganized. An empty glass sits on the end table beside me.
* * * * *
Sometimes December moves so fast I can barely keep up with it. The family gatherings, the activities, the shopping: during a month when I would prefer to sit in silent contemplation, I tend to do everything except that.
Until tonight. In the midst of the chaos that is our house (Maile is away), I sit quietly in her chair and write. The kids sleep. The fan in the boys room drones its siren call, beckoning me towards sleep. The only light in the room is the Christmas tree, and it reflects off the glass deck doors, as if someone else’s tree in someone’s else’s world lies just over the threshold.
* * * * *
This silence, this peace: this is the incarnation. Peter Rollins once spoke of Christianity as having four pillars: Incarnation, Resurrection, Death, and Redemption. Tonight I feel the peace of the Incarnation.
The moment the baby stops screaming and begins to feed.
The shepherds staring into a now-empty sky.
The sun rising over Bethlehem the next morning, ushered in by an eager rooster, the first day of God with us.
There is Peace in this season, but it is a peace that requires stopping, recognizing the weight of this present moment. The weight of his presence. That is one aspect of the Incarnation I will pursue, like three men following a star through the desert.