They Cannot See What We See

Danny A. Belrose ©

Short days stretched long, we sing our Advent songs
and lean toward a starlit stable scene.
Silent and serene. No speaking parts,
a multitude of extras each in place
staring into sacred space wherein the babe lies nestled.
Sleepy sheepless shepherds
wondering at the sight, puzzled, as are we,
that on this star-bright night
a child so small and helpless gives holiness its name.

For they behold a babe in arms, a feeding trough in muted light,
and question why angelic songs celebrate a birth tonight.

Parables and miracles are not within their sight
They cannot see what we see:
the hungry fed, the lame who walk, the lessons taught.
Absent is a crown of thorns, a prayer of tears.
and death upon a tree, an empty tomb, an Easter morn
—these they cannot see.
No king, no savior, no Prince of Peace, no sign of royalty.
Just a babe in swaddling clothes wrapped within a mother’s glow
whose future is unseen, a young bewildered carpenter
unsure of what this means.
Angel voices silent now, a “day-blind star” unglowing,
tomorrow yawns, morning dawns,
. . . and the world awakes unknowing.

* “day-blind star”—Wendell Berry in “The Peace of Wild Things”

Spiritual Practice: We hold in our hearts all that we cannot know, cannot see, in the waiting time of Advent. May we, as we “lean toward a starlit stable scene”, allow the significance of this story to illuminate significance through our own movement into a future unseen.

2 Replies to “They Cannot See What We See”

  1. I so appreciate this offering from Danny Belrose, and also want to express my appreciation for all those contributing to these Advent meditations. They are enriching my days.

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