A New View of Christmas

childOver the swinging parapet of my arm
Your sentinel eyes lean gazing. Hugely alert
In the pale unfinished clay of your infant face,
They drink light from this candle on the tree.
Drinking, not pondering, each bright thing you see,
You make it yours without analysis
And, stopping down the aperture of thought
To a fine pinhole, you are filled with flame.

Give me for Christmas, then, your kind of seeing,
Not studying candles – angel, manger, star –
But staring as at a portrait, God’s I guess,
That shocks and holds the eye, till all my being,
Gathered, intent and still, as now you are,
Breathes out its wonder in a wordless yes.

— Bishop John V. Taylor (1914-2001)



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