• nicodemus

    by  • June 9, 2009 • Uncategorized • 7 Comments

    When he first heard the words,
    he was the first to hear them:
    “You must be born again.”
    He was old and the metaphor
    muddled his mind: go back
    into my mother’s womb–
    at this age?

    Jesus, however, was not about
    to forsake his role as midwife.
    There in the darkness, he called
    the old man to think of something
    other than dying, to let his heart
    hear he was the one whom
    God so loved.

    When my grandfather died,
    he was only five years older
    than I am right now, maybe no
    older than Nicodemus that night.
    What kills us all in bits and pieces
    is living as though love is earned;
    birth is a gift.

    The God who birthed the universe
    has chosen to spend everyday
    since in labor, in the pain of
    birth and rebirth, a tenacious
    expression of love, a ferocious
    gift of grace we cannot deserve,
    only receive.

    Peace,
    Milton

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    http://donteatalone.com

    7 Responses to nicodemus

    1. June 9, 2009 at 2:11 pm

      Thanks, Milton, for taking a passage so familiar we hardly hear it and letting it speak again.

    2. June 9, 2009 at 9:46 pm

      Oh, wonderful. thanks.

    3. Maureen
      June 10, 2009 at 3:04 am

      This is beautiful and painful. I cannot express how much this means to me right now. One of my dearest friends died today, and my prayer is that he will now know what it means “to let his heart hear that he was the one whom God so loved.”

      You always find the words that make my heart listen up and take notice, Milton. Thank you.

    4. June 10, 2009 at 3:00 pm

      think of something
      other than dying

      That’s good advice for us all.

    5. June 10, 2009 at 3:01 pm

      Having given birth, I understand the gift part. Interestingly, I think that both parties labor… mother and babe, God and soul.

    6. Erin
      June 11, 2009 at 9:11 pm

      This is beautiful, and so powerful. I’ve kept this window open on my computer all day and keep returning to it. “a tenacious / expression of love, a ferocious / gift of grace” — wonderful. Thank you!

    7. June 14, 2009 at 4:11 pm

      this is so hard to overcome: “What kills us all in bits and pieces
      is living as though love is earned;
      birth is a gift.” Because we insist upon living our way rather than accepting the truth that it has already been taken care of on our behalf.

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