by Madonna House author
We roam across the miles, across the pages of many books, seeking our identity. We strive and strain to leap over the
prison walls of a limited concept of who we are. In the night we dream of performing fantastic and courageous feats.
In our dreams we have our "moments of glory."
And then comes the morning, and we take up the pursuit again. We follow the latest beat of the drum, hoping this or that will tell us who we really are. We feel sick and so we search for something, for someone to make us well, to heal us. From our depths we cry out for our other half. We yearn for our missing part. We are compelled to disprove the haunting thought that we are nobodies; therefore we do deeds that "make" us free, "make" us acceptable to ourselves.
Having sought and searched for our essences, we finally dare to speak our fears. "I am drowning in disappointment; my heart is sick; my spirit languishes; where is something, anything to measure the behaviour of my heart?"
Crushed and overwhelmed we fall to our knees inwardly. Silence engulfs us. Lo and behold, in that moment we can hear. We can hear the words of an angel piercing thru endless space and timelessness into the vacuum of our despair. "Do not be afraid. Listen. I bring you news of great joy, a joy to be shared by the whole people. Today in the town of David a savior has been born to you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger" (Lk. 2:10-13).
Listen, I bring you news of great joy. God has become a man! God has lowered himself. He has become what He created. God has communicated His incredible love. He has raised all men to God–like dignity. God has become man and walks among us as our Brother.
Jesus our Savior has brought us salvation. He has healed our deepest spiritual sickness. He has healed our distorted and damaged self-image. He has told us who we really are.
When Jesus appeared upon earth He showed us our true worth before God. He brought into the fullness of light our true identity. He reminded us that our intrinsic worth derives from the hand of our Creator, our Father who made us in His image and likeness. When Jesus was made flesh our darkened image was renewed, restored.
The Holy Spirit of love continues to reveal our identity and our destiny. He leads us to Love where we abide and where we find our identity. God is Love. It is in God that we find our true destiny, our true identity–to abide with Him forever.
God became man. Nothing was ever the same after that. God became man. The truth shall make us free. God became man. The truth shall bring us peace.
Once there was a reed, tall and proud, growing near a stream. He was a fine reed, and how he loved life! He lived every moment to the full. From his height he had a splendid view of the whole area. He watched the small animals scamper to and fro, the birds darting here and there, the multi-hued insects, the fish gliding in the stream. But best of all he liked the flowers. They came in a never ending parade of exquisite form and color. Old friends would go, but new ones promptly followed and they delighted him so that he never stopped to wonder what happened to the old. And all the while he stood, tall and green. Yes, life was good indeed.
Then one morning he awoke, and as he looked into the stream he discovered that his tip was turning brown. His dismay grew as day after ay the malady spread until his fine green coat was completely gone. In addition, he began to feel dry, then drier and drier. Then the rains came and beat at him, the winds battered him, and finally a mightly gust snapped him loose from the earth. He lay desolate on the ground, broken, bruised, and heavy-hearted.
Some days later, a young man came by and picked him up. He put him into his bag where it was dark, so dark that poor reed could see nothing at all. He longed for the end. Anything would be better than this unending darkness.
Finally the day came when the young man took him back out of the bag. How good to see the light again! He saw the fields and rolling hills, and sheep grazing peacefully around. The young man took a sharp knife and cut part of the reed away, hurting him so acutely he couldn't help but cry out. Then the man ruthlessly pierced him through from end to end, clearing out his hollow. Every inch of his being quivered with pain. Then he was thrust back into the darkness again.
Sometime later he was taken out again. He welcomed the light, yet dreaded the pain he anticipated would come along with it. And sure enough, there was the knife. This time the young man mercilessly cut several holes in him. He wept silently. Then he was plunged once more into darkness.
The day came when reed, from his black home in the bag, sensed something different about everything; there was some excitement in the air. The young man joined some of the other shepherds and they hurried toward the edge of town. There they went into a cave, and the young man pulled reed out of the bag. Reed braced himself for the inevitable knife. Instead, to his surprise, he felt only the gentle caress of the young man's hands as he lifted him tenderly to his lips. Then the young man poured his life-breath into him and there came forth from reed a beautiful song, simple and pure. And as reed looked out he saw a young mother and her little Baby. And they both smiled at him.
Copyright: Madonna House – Creative Commons License