My heart hammers in staccato beats
staring up at the figure on the cross.
I cannot believe this is the boy
that I fell in love with as a child.
I remember like yesterday that baby boy…
We passed by the stable and I peeked inside
instead of food for the animals to my surprise
there lay a baby in the manger surrounded by
a man and a woman and a strange light.
The sheep, goat and donkey all lay around
they didn’t seem to mind their trough taken up
with a bundle of human sleeping so sound.
I wanted to get closer but my mother wouldn’t stay
and we walked off in a hurry the other way.
I saw glimpses of him for a couple of years
I watched as he learned to walk and talk
he was like no other child I’d ever known.
So many times I tried to get near to him
circumstances kept me away and unengaged
thought maybe I’d get to play with him one day
until they left unexpected — was he afraid?
I’ve thought about him often, that little cherub face
there was such a special something I never seemed to place.
And here I stand so grief-stricken as I look up amazed
that the little boy I admired, is being treated this heinous way.
I know it’s him — I’ve never forgotten the babe
I can see it in his eyes as he looks down upon me with such grace.
My heart feels so much compassion, so much love
I cannot bear this sight of him
hanging on that rugged cross by Jews and thieves condemned.
I was such a little girl when I spied that tiny peaceful miracle
always wondering why he was born in a dirty, rugged stable
my pondering turns sudden and anew
why didn’t that innkeeper give him a room?
And could it be that’s all he wants from me and you?
A room within our hearts, a place into our lives
not just a stable behind the scenes
but a home in our hearts to dwell and abide.
~Marcell Warner Bridges
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