Sunday, December 16, 2018

how to build a baby or a world

Balthasar says that God is like the mother,
whose smiling face and cooing voice
awakens us—
before we even know it—
to love.

But God was also once the baby
who had a mother.

The words God made these humans to utter,
and so longed to hear from their hard-hearted lips,
wished they would drip off their stony tongues
were said to him,
reached his tender god baby-like ears
and what sort of person was made in that moment?

The moment between mother who cooed
to her Son of God:
I love you.

I imagine that Trinitarian love
is so palpable and absolute,
so all-encompassing and real,
that our paltry vocalized promises of love
are just small pebbles at the foot of mountains.

But maybe even God was jealous
of each child that was born,
that heard her mother say to her:
I love you,
that those words did not just hang empty in the air,
but shaped the baby's face and brain and heart,
that filled up whatever those strange corners of our selves and souls
that ring hollow without the love that shapes us.
Each mother cradling her child into being reminded God of when he cradled creation out of nothingness and into life.

When God's breath spread out over the waters of the earth,
it said to this shapeless, confused void:
I love you
and look what happened: a universe.
A cosmos, blossoming under the warm, satisfied thrill of being loved unconditionally,
expansively, rolling out into the void of nothing with a comforting infinity.

The world is made in I love you,
built out of those words.
Without them, it will tumble.
To be told I love you is to be brought into existence.

Then Mary looked at the child in her arms,
who was love, who had set the world in motion by his love,
who had loved not only her, but all things into existence.
and said, like all mothers do:
I love you.

And what was made there, between them?
Between the virgin mother whose whole self was nothing but a yes,
and the love who made her, which had brought her to life
who was now being brought to life,
as all children are,
by the love of a mother ringing in his ears.

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