Saturday, December 17, 2011

the worth of a soul

December evenings linger long past dusk:
the streetlights have been trading their watch since before suppertime.
below them, a man pulls cars off a transport and into the dealership lot.
snow falls upon the toque his girlfriend bought him,
filters through tree house rafters across the street.
within the house, three brothers are fighting for bathtub space;
their mother has baby oil and pajamas at the ready.

over on the first concession,
a farmer stretches his toes inside a fresh pair of woollen socks,
rakes calloused hands through hair in need of a barber.
his wife's fingers undo the bow at the back of her apron
as they have every evening the same;
punch faded numbers onto a telephone keypad;
reach toward a jar of balm and the music of a daughter's voice.

it's a night just like any other in December: cold, dark, wintry.
yet each moment -- every place -- is teeming with humanity:
scarred by the day, brimming with hope for the morrow;
loving and wanting and resting and toiling,
all conflicted and radiant.
each person is writing a new story.
every person is working toward a goal.

but what does it matter if the car guy saves to buy his girlfriend a ring?
does anyone care if some farmer's daughter gets to chat with her mom?
old tree houses and fresh haircuts and warm socks and wet bathroom floors --
they don't amount to much.  everything we know is so small.
(even those shiny new cars getting snowed upon.)
...carved into a hillside, long ago and far away,
stood a stable where a baby was born.

because his mother was rejected and his father was acquainted with grief,
he had no better place to lay than a feeding trough filled with hay.
yet every star in heaven held its breath as angels shrieked their amazement
at God Himself, tucked inside a poor girl's arms.
His life would show us the power of the Spirit;
His death, the depths of evil;
His resurrection, the height of glory.

but in that little hillside stable, the soul felt its worth.

this was my Christmas reading the other night... i'll bring it to emily's, too.


  1. yes...this is it!

    Love the perspective of the angels.

    God Bless you this Christmas and always!

  2. yet each moment -- every place -- is teeming with humanity:

    oh wow bethany. i'm going to highlight this at my place tomorrow... is this okay? POWER in these words girl. you are so beautiful.

  3. Bethany Ann, I love this. Lovely, true words. Thanks for sharing this.

  4. What a wonderfully evocative, wonderfully inclusive poem!