The darkness is so near, so dense, so deep,
the sky so blank we cannot keep our watch.
We sleep beside the dying fire and ask
the stars to shine their eyes where we can’t see.
There’s little warmth, or hay for sheep to feed,
nor comfort in our need for love, for day,
for something graced or nourishing to come
our way. And so we plunge our ache, our lack
into each other, seeing there the poverty
our hearts endure, resent and fear, the void
we can’t avoid, but we can shun. And here,
so sure, your Mary births her son, and shines
your womb-light in our night. You dare to come
and share our wanting and our wounds. God, born
in us, you sanctify our neediness.
All giving and receiving thus you bless,
and birth in us your love for those in need,
like us, who hurt and hunger in the night.
As Mary, nursing, knows, to feed the ones
you love is to be fed, and our delight.
December 23, 2020