In Bethlehem some 2000 years ago, the skies are now quiet as a small family begins to establish its daily rhythm. The wonder of the night's event may seem a bit too awesome, more like a dream to those who watched the celestial choir at Christ's birth. So rubbing their eyes, they arise to set about their business - it is tax time and there are visitors to tend and to entice with their wares.
Vendors push the night's song deep into the recesses of their hearts. With resignation while begrudging Roman rule, they say, "Carpe diem!" The narrow streets are already filled and the markets now display premium prices. Buyers are many and day rushes into dusk. Once at home, will any vendors or buyers remember last night's song as they close their eyes to sleep?
Over the centuries, much has remained the same . For example, last year, I found this image that shows the transcendent quality of the Nativity captured in a contemporary nativity photo. It shows that the birth of a child is universally beautiful and true for every family, in every season.
|From "FORGOTTEN PEOPLE" by Giulio Di Sturco|
The place is not Bethlehem long ago but Kutupalong camp, Bangladesh. The spareness of the family shelter and their bodies silently inform us, of poverty, brutal rejection and lives uprooted. This nativity family is not Jewish, but Rohingya, a Muslim ethnic minority from Burma.
The first time I saw this image, it was in color and tweeted by Doctors w/o Borders. This year in my search for that image to share with you, I discovered Giulio Di Sturco, the photographer of "Forgotten People." His photo galleries reach beyond my words. His images demand response. They call us to activate our capacity.
For me that capacity is prayer. Prayer defies material limits of time, space and financial resources. Prayer flips a limited material picture far better than Bengal Jerome Simpson's front flip touchdown on Christmas Eve. Prayer bears witness to Love meeting every human need. It brings the reality of Love's power into human focus in such amazing ways it is mis-named a miracle.
In reality, "The miracle introduces no disorder, but unfolds the primal order, establishing the Science of God's unchangeable law."(1) A miracle is "That which is divinely natural, but must be learned humanly"(2) And man is innately able to do precisely that.
(1) Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 135:6-8
(2) Ibid., p. 581:21