Feast of the Holy Prophet Nahum
IN THE FACE of all this I sit here in a bombed city and say that because a girl surrendered herself to God two thousand years ago, human nature can be constantly new; life always young; and everyone bring not death into the world but the miraculous life of the Spirit; everyone a bearer of Christ into the world.” ~Carryl Houselander
I can think of no better Advent meditation as we head into another liturgical season dedicated to the celebration of waiting for the Christ Child. Carryl Houselander (1901-1954) was a British author, artist, mystic and spiritual teacher. Her book The Reed of God, written in London in 1954, examines Mary, the Mother of God, who said “yes” to bearing Christ into the world. We too are called to bear Christ into the world “through the daily bread of our human love.”
All of us are called to give birth. Male and female, we are born to create and to birth to the world what is uniquely planted inside us by the breath of God. We give birth to children, art, poetry, well-constructed homes, loaves of breads, businesses, patient plans, prayers, and beautifully delivered pedagogy. Our call is not to be consumed with our own gifts but to allow them to freely flow because Christ Himself needs to be carried into the world. When we carry our diaper bags, printed pages, bricks, bread, blueprints, books, stethoscopes, whispered intentions, and lesson plans we carry Christ to places He may “never go unless we take Him.”
Houselander talks of the “mystery of life growing in us.” We are able to participate in this call to bear Christ into the world as we give ourselves to living in the mystery of what God wants to do through us today to share Jesus Christ with a fractured, distracted, and beautiful planet of people who, above all, need to receive Christ. Houselander warns against only “pious exercise and an amateur practice of religion.” Our answer rather lies in letting Christ live in the “marrow of our bones.” Christ wants to freely flow within and among us. As He moved about so long ago in Mary’s womb, He lives within us and calls us to share Him abundantly. We are called to real love and to share in the suffering and joy of all humanity.
This Advent, let us surrender ourselves to bearing Christ to the people we encounter in our homes, places of work, and the world. It is the best gift we can give.
Ellen Herr Awe lives in Wichita and teaches for USD 259. She reads as much as possible, tends a little garden and cherishes spending time with her grandson