I cannot imagine how I leapt between taking what was intended to be a week’s break from the 21st October, until now! But then, so much about 2020 has proved unimaginable and – at any rate – I now find myself reflecting upon the heart of ‘The Christmas Story’ and the importance attached therein to the arrival of a tiny bundle of helpless vulnerability into impossibly difficult circumstances.
A baby. Any baby (the primary point, I believe, of this story of ‘incarnation’ or ‘in-flesh-ness’): a once-upon-a-time you-or-me-shaped baby. How could we think that such a tiny package of heart, soul, mind and body could ever survive and thrive within a fractious environment like life on Planet Earth?
Well: instead of thinking, we have to engage in believing, and then make the leap from believing into loving, and feeding and cherishing and nursing and supporting until tiny vulnerability progresses from infant to toddler, to scholar, to teenager, to adulthood – all the while retaining the blueprint of vulnerability with which we all arrive in this world, and with which we will depart it.
Whether born in a cattle-shed or a palace, all-inclusive loving is the only viable way forward from human nativity onwards – and that very loving (whether giving or receiving) is fraught with human risk and unreliability.
Wherever we are in the world today, you who are my known and beloved friends and family, and you whose lives (and vulnerabilities) I’ll never see or know or imagine, steeped as we are in the world’s many and varied belief and support systems, may reflection upon our own incarnation, vulnerability, and continuing development remind us of the roads we’ve travelled, and will keep on travelling, one baby-step at a time. And therein, may we find Peace xx