Nations rage, victims quake,
Children die, terrorists shake
Our souls to the core.
Cancer wins, marriages fail,
Dreams die, depression prevails:
We cry for a cure.
“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”
Innocence gone, evil won,
Curse pronounced, Eden done.
All hopes lost but one.
A tiny seed, a fragile child
Would still the powers raging wild.
Woman’s labor works: a son.
“I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore… and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”
Abraham hopes, Sarah dreams
Of children like stars, promised seed
To fill the earth with blessing.
Impotent man and barren woman
Despair and laugh, doubt but believe,
All hope on God resting.
…And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
Dream diverted, children overtaken;
Slaves in Egypt, feeling forsaken.
Was God’s promise done?
Endangered child, saved from the river;
Infant nation, through waters delivered.
“Out of Egypt I called my Son.”
A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham…
whose mother was Tamar…
whose mother was Rahab,
whose mother was Ruth…
whose mother had been Uriah’s wife
Prostitute’s offspring, immigrant’s line,
Seed passing through wombs of all shape and kind,
Overlooked, so small.
From David the youngest, least of these
Raised to power, father of kings,
Stems the greatest of all.
“But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.”
War-torn land, occupied country,
Backwater town, least among many,
Host to eternity.
Young woman’s womb, watery and tight,
Rough wooden trough, borrowed for the night.
Home for divinity.
Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you even at my mother’s breast. From birth I was cast upon you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God. Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help.
Infant arms, helplessly bound
Newborn mouth, unable to sound
The gospel of the kingdom.
Vulnerable life, carried around
Vagabond child, hunted down.
The hope of the nations.
From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. …You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet.
Power discarded, frailty embraced,
Position lowered, heaven’s throne replaced
With earth’s dust, un-glorified.
Despised by the great, praised by the weak,
Disarming dark powers with the turn of a cheek.
The seed fell and died.
The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.
But from the dust rising it grew
Mighty tree filling earth with something new:
A cure for all nations.
Children that lead, leaders that serve,
Eden restored, Heaven on earth:
A new creation.
…unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.
So why look down on little things,
Small starts, tiny tasks, and the trouble they bring?
God became one of these.
Why chafe at roles that seem downgrading,
Snub a thirsty child, too busy earth saving?
He’s good company.
In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering…
Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death–that is, the devil–and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.
Hebrews 2:10-11, 14-15
Humble obedience, being made low
Trains me like Him, helps me to know
My place in His story.
I bear the seed, through weakness give birth
To small deeds of mercy, new heavens and earth.
In this is victory.
7 thoughts on “Tiny Things”
Somewhere it is written, “Despise not the day of small beginnings.” I never thought of this as applying to the birth of our Lord before, Thank you for sharing this poem.
I suppose that line is relevant to more than we imagine. I am constantly challenged to re-evaluate what I consider important or not. Just when I think I’ve got it sorted, I find that I have overlooked something of incredible importance to God. More and more my prayer is: Lord, give me eyes to see things the way You do!
Reblogged this on The Christian Gazette.
Something inside of us wants to be in charge. Wants to be important. Wants to be praised by others. And then we end up missing the small things, the small tasks, and the outcomes that are the result of even a little faith (like a mustard seed) that can move a mountain. Thank you for your beautiful words.
Thank you for teaching me to lay aside control and to value the little things. Obviously I still have a long way to go in living up to your example. But I have to believe that confession is one of those, a first, tiny step away from self-importance and towards embracing God’s significant work through insignificant vessels.
Thank you, Beth. Missing you and your family….