We love him because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19 KJV
[Love] is an abyss of illumination, a fountain of fire, bubbling up to inflame the thirsty soul. – St. John Climacus, The Ladder of Divine Ascent.
For the beauty of your face,
Body clothed in glowing lace.
For your touch, which since our birth,
Gave us faith and cosmic worth.
From your life we conquer death,
Safe beyond our final breath.
Your love, a fount of fire,
Your love, a blazing spire,
All of this, we are immersed.
The greatest gift? You loved us first.
—a mystery or secret doctrine, Strong’s Concordance
She—dark eyebrows, inky eyes,
raven hair, olive skin—bakes as her family
works in the fields daydreaming
about that bearded man
under their ketubah . . . so handsome!
but exiling such thoughts she
reaches for flatbread toasting in a pan
the dim room incandesces with blinding light—
an iridescent figure speaks
words piercing her soul—
then vanishes his image seared
in her sight the room again dim
flatbread smoking she seizes it
burnt then she sits staring
at smoke wafting through
the small window contemplating
“the Highest overshadowing you . . .”
Pale Blue Dot
The Unmoved Mover saw darkness
in His universe of galactic ballet
birthing suns and colossal novas,
marooned moons and looping planets
and at this pale blue dot
millennia ago. At that time
and at that space,
piercing dark matter dark energy
between spacetime arcs and curves
through photon and electron orbits
passing electromagnetic forces,
infinite energy became
at an immaculate point:
Spirit beamed light
into an ovum
of a Galilean girl.
This night a couple begged for space in a stall.
Starlight unveiled her swollen belly.
Her face grimaced like his. The couple
collapsed on straw, dung, pigeon droppings.
A stranger rose,
dragged an empty feeding trough
to the couple, folded his mantle inside it,
What is this glimmering shaft outside,
aiming at the stable’s doorway?
First Cause breathed all worlds into being
As orbiting lenses bring tiny spirals into seeing,
And shaped symmetry and tones to butterfly wings;
Poured living water from cloud-capped springs.
He sent a shimmering being one night
To grimy herders, soul-stricken with fright,
About a birth this day in the city of David *
Hidden among sheep and lambs, goats and kids.
A Deliverer swaddled in a feeding-box bed;
a Hebrew infant resting his dear sweet head.
Above, an assembly chanted with single accord
Glory to the Holy One, the highest Lord. *
Swiftly the sky turned dark, spotted with stars,
But one streamed ahead, from heights so far.
The herders left all and trekked to that beam…
Lost in the spectacle they had just seen:
A mystery so deep, so impossible to grasp;
A mystery so beautiful, so impossibly vast.