no safe place

[a couple of Advent pieces from a church service this morning seemed worth sharing – don’t miss the song after the reading!]

So there’s no safe place. God, it seems,
might insert himself into any conversation,
any century. Might settle in – any old place,
as he quintessentially did in the West Bank,
Palestine, small town called Bethlehem.
The story is – God breathed himself
into the womb of a woman, turning himself
over to her umbilical care, folding himself
into fetal position, pressing and turning
inside Mary, ‘til she, breathing hard, bore down.
Mary’s womb turned inside out – amniotic
water, gasping infant, placenta spilling
into the night, messy and miraculous
as any birth anywhere and not a safe place.
Did he know – he must have – when he took on
flesh and fingernail and bone marrow,
he would be at our mercy?

For us too, no safe place. For you see what
he’s done – given notice how he, at any time,
might break into our conversation, West Bank,
West Coast, Bethlehem, Vancouver. There’s no place
safe from his radical willingness to be among us.