So, this post is a bit different for me. The experience I share isn't unusual for me, it is the sharing of it that is. I am reluctant to share some of the more intimate experiences but felt, maybe this might be an encouragement to someone.
Last week during a quiet time, I found myself in a daydream. This daydream was a bit unique in that there was a tangible something about it. In the warmth of the afternoon sun shining through my window, a vignette appeared in the image centre of my mind.
It was the classic stable manger scene from the Nativity. The night air was crisp, and the sky was crystal clear and resplendent with stars. In time, my attention shifted to the stable and I see all the characters - Mary, Joseph, the wisemen, and the angels on high. Each character was made from fine porcelain, painted to perfection with great attention to detail. It was interesting to me that the cattle and sheep in this scene were alive, grazing on the hay in the surrounding mangers. It was a classic Christmas card scene.
I looked on from a distance taking in the wide, broad view. Taking it all in. The stable, the starry night and there was peace. It was then I heard it. It was a sound of travail and panting breathing that is often associated with childbirth. I was perplexed because for some reason I had assumed that Mary had already given birth to the Christ child.
I moved closer, up to the manger expecting to find the babe, only to see myself in the livestock feed bunk. Stranger still, the heavy breathing and cries I heard were coming from me. I was the one in the travails of childbirth. I was perplexed as I watched... well... myself groan with deep longing and discomfort, heavy panting, and crying out. Something was being birthed, birthed in me. It appeared that I was well into transition with contractions getting closer and closer together.
It was then that my eyes started playing tricks on me. In the feed trough, Manger Mike began to shine, and with each contraction, the light would shine brighter. Very faintly at first but with each contraction, with greater intensity, I began to see the Christ being birthed within Manger Mike.
The birthing reached its climax, the delivery. I looked, and before my eyes, Manger Mike was shining with transplendent light and the image of the Christ and Manger Mike now somehow one and the same - uniquely mike and uniquely Christ.
Though still very much bewildered and my mouth wide open in amazement, I heard the words:
The Advent message resonating in my heart this year, inspired I suppose from my daydream, is the waiting, persevering, preparing, and hoping is the journey of the emergence of the Christ Consciousness. I thought of:
“I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God.” - Romans 8:18
It seems that the world is longing eagerly for the manifestation of Christ-consciousness, the Christ-like character to manifest within the children of God. That along the journey, with the wondering, loneliness, alienation from our tribes of nice, neat answers, and uncertainty many of us are experiencing - Christ is being born afresh and deeper. A deeper lived experience of divine love - of living loved and living love. People just like you are awakening and responding to the divine invitation to be living Christs; peacemakers, reconcilers, farmers of hope and beauty, and torches of inclusive love. The Good News embodied.
I’m not you, so I don’t know how you feel. I know that I can feel pretty overwhelmed. I know situations within and beyond my control can seem unrelenting. Hell, it can feel pretty lonely and dark with what seems like just our little Christ light shining. It is here my drifts back to my vision, and the night sky resplendent with points of light — a reminder that both you and I are not alone. And a reminder of the grace to persevere through the trials, pangs, and angst of the Way. A reminder that the embodied presence of living hope as the Light of the World, is shining through each of us and we are not alone.