Saturday, December 19, 2015

For this Christmas I ask, "WHAT DON'T I KNOW THAT I DON'T KNOW?"

When my son was preparing for final exam time,  I dared to ask him how it was going. Anyone who has walked through college examination season knows the answer to that one.  His heavy sighed reply, "Fine, but I don't really know, what I don't know."

That's truth! There's that blindness about our very own lives we are walking through.   Sometimes our hearts beat more evenly in the not knowing.  Heart storms are calmed and circumstances comforted in a warm blanket of fog.

Yet, at other times there's trembling, anxious quandary.  The walking alone through dark forests, head down but ears pricked alert for any sound, any word, friend or foe, deliverance or destruction.

I'd imagine that even upon learning of her Christmas baby Jesus' incarnation, this Christmas mother stood short-breathed in desperate wonderment.  I would imagine that upon looking ahead she was often quick kneed to the ground to stoop low in prayer in the fear of what she didn't know about the great I Am.  I'd imagine she labored in pain throughout her life to reconcile her motherly purpose and His saving grace purposed life.  I'd imagine the labor pains that constricted her womb, constricted about her heart at the comprehension of His future.  

Life is this combination of knowing and not knowing.   Life is this mix of common ground and holy ground.  Life is this puzzle of the profane amist the sacred.

Life, at times, moves with that same edge-standing inner turmoil of the soul tilt, the quick-sand feeling of not knowing whether to walk forward or backward or stand stone still.

As Mary of old, this Christmas, I'm stilled by these contrasts.  What does the now foretell of the future?  What do I know that I need be more aware of? What humble offerings shall I give for easing the pain of His people?   Whose heart am I being called to keep beating strong until he stands to walk His path alone?  What am I called to birth that will rock this world? What words am I asked to deliver to others? Whose servant am I called to be that I would kneel before the cross they bear and kiss the ground in tear stained prayer.

These are not my shared-in-the light of day ponderings, but I am asking what I don't know that I don't know.  They are intimate sanctions of a sometimes shallow soul. They are my dark night introspection,  a stealth soul search, a simple wondering.

For this Christmas Lord I ask, "WHAT DON'T I KNOW THAT I DON'T KNOW?"

When the night's sober offerings spill for tomorrow to examine, God answers with a word for me to deliver to another but also to absolve my blindness:

"In the dark night of labor, His holiness will pour over us.  What happened at His birth still exists today."