“Bethlehem Home”- a poem by Mama Lisa

“BETHLEHEM HOME”

 To run embrace Habil our father-son
To see the promised land where there was none
To see the desert bring forth fruit for him
To stumble over rocks he sees as gems
Has brought us home to Bethlehem again.

To jump with Mama Faith and fierce Masai
To join the tribes whose enmity has died
To memorize her joy in simple gifts
To see the magic smile her spirit lifts
Has brought us home to Bethlehem again.

 To hold small hands whose sorrow weighs too much
To clasp the pain and share it with a touch
To clap and laugh and circle with a song
To say so much where words do not belong
Has brought us home to Bethlehem again.

 To sing with children smiling without food
To see their blatant faith that God is good
To watch them swing while far too weak to run
To hear the silence when their meal’s begun
Has brought us home to Bethlehem again.

 To look for just and unjust rain to fall
To weep when plans for planting gardens stall
To feel the death of nourishment’s sharp sting
Replaced by resurrection water brings
Has brought us home to Bethlehem again.

 To nail the channel capturing rain first
To gather mist or floods for future thirst
To purify the gift that fails to fall
To share the meager drops when less is all
Has brought us home to Bethlehem again.

 To treat the illnesses that still appall
To cry to God who watches sparrows fall
To wrestle with the angels that we find
At once remote yet yearning to remind
Our hope is home in Bethlehem again.

 To fail to heal the leper’s painful feet
To wash the dirt but know the pain repeats
To watch the seizure stealing mind and health
To know relief that could be had with wealth
Has brought us home to Bethlehem again.

 To pray with mother holding dying son
To bless her kind exquisite job well done
To usher broken bodies into light
To weep and wonder till our faith’s made sight
Has brought us home to Bethlehem again.

 To dance with one who weaves the straw to bread
To stop our work to sit and learn instead
To watch her make the intricate designs
To weave the friendship straw can surely bind
Has brought us home to Bethlehem again.

 To worship God who hovers in the tree
To love the place whose building has no fee
To be the universal body here
To find our brothers, sisters, family near
Has brought us home to Bethlehem again.

 To share our wild extravagance in feast
To halt the steady march of greed’s increase
To stand against the cynic’s cold rebuff
To find the loaves and fishes are enough
Has brought us home to Bethlehem again.

 To work salvation’s fearful, trembling task
To ponder questions difficult to ask
To rest in mysteries rather than to fight
To welcome darkness harbinger of light
Has brought us home to Bethlehem again.

 To hope in Him who sprang from Jesse’s stem
To yearn for faith to touch his garment’s hem
To wish for lamb and lion lying still
To shout that pain can stop, no blood shall spill
Has brought us home to Bethlehem again.

                                                     —Lisa Baker

                                                                          December 11, 2011

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