We hear now from two of my favorite women in the world, writers Luci Shaw and the late Madeleine L’Engle. These selections are from Winter Song: Christmas Readings by Madeleine L’Engle & Luci Shaw (Carol Stream, IL: Harold Shaw Publisher, 1996).
This is the irrational season
When love blooms bright and wild.
Had Mary been filled with reason
There’d have been no room for the child.
Major Theme in a Minor Key
The sky is black as an empty heart.
The sky is pierced with stars loud as angels,
And all I can exclaim to myself is Mirabile!
This is a time of premonition, and sharp surprise,
and scurrying feet.
From the eaves icicles fall and break with
the tinkle of bells.
In the wind dead leaves scatter, spent as straw in
a dull manger.
All I can mutter is Amen!
This is a month of frosts, and rebuff,
and questions hard as birth.
Astonishment—as a baby bursts bloody from
Air spins from his fresh lungs like a word
so that all we can chant—a mass in A minor—is Kyrie:
This is a season of serial visions, and a bodily God,
and a sword in the heart.
He did not wait till the world was ready,
Till men and nations were at peace.
He came when the Heavens were unsteady,
And prisoners cried out for release.
He did not wait for the perfect time.
He came when the need was deep and great.
He dined with sinners in all their grime,
turned water into wine. He did not wait
till hearts were pure. In joy he came
to a tarnished world of sin and doubt.
To a world like ours, of anguished shame
he came, and his Light would not go out.
He came to a world which did not mesh,
to heal its tangles, shield its scorn.
In the mystery of the Word made Flesh
the Maker of the stars was born.
We cannot wait till the world is sane,
to raise our songs with joyful voice,
for to share our grief, to touch our pain,
He came with Love: Rejoice! Rejoice!