Loudly Silent

Dave Smith

Eerily quiet, my home breathes with the now-and-again of snowflakes amazingly collecting on unfrozen, still green grass.  This cacophony of silence pulses room to room, leaves seeps of echoes from the wall of Smith history pictures and from the displays of Waldorf School artwork diligently completed by daughters.  An Atlanta Braves baseball, autographed by everyone on that championship team of yore, speaks of time spent in the humidity of Georgia and Atlanta’s citywide “chop” chants.  I watch this soundless dance, the choreography of thought come to life on the page, my fingers trying to keep up, correcting, fixing self-correct, frustrating in the new uncoordination.  Mom’s old, old lamp with ornate, stained glass shade, creates a light chasm across the laptop.  My tiny, purple robed wizard mouse stands next to the keyboard, attentively at watch, a paw raised in encouragement for each think.  The crystal ball inhales the glow, turning it to greenish-gold depth in what should be a nothingness of miniature statue art.  Half-moons, stars, chains, and the required potion pouch adorn the gown, all gold highlights on yet more quiet.  Ebony eyes scrutinize, stare emptily black into my mind’s eye with amazing intensity.  Those tiny eyes.

I imagine the mind of my wee wizard, a ceramically collected maze of sparks and refractions glittering his thinks behind the shiny curtain of eyes.  I sense the chasm between vision and wisdom, the “seeing” becoming real and holdable in the logical left and the magical right of every brain.  Human eyes – off-putting, interested, bored, weary, lack-luster, rolling, blinking – cannot match this wizard’s profoundly empty gloss reflecting, at close inspection, me.  No, I certainly lay no claim to wizardly wonderment, but I do doubt the “windows to the soul” idea.  In the modern world so many, many eyes simply lie, create a mask so unreadably plastic that I find more reward in the ceramic gaze of a mouse.  I think what the look of Jesus held for disciples, for the followers of His 33 years on earth.  What the enormous sincerity and heart given love from God the Father looked like coming from His eyes.  What a Baby’s look and smile from a manager gave to the hearts of Mary and Joseph, the wise men from the East, the shepherds, and the Kings.

In three weeks we celebrate the CHRISTmas gift of forgiveness in faith – in the look of a gracious God who sent His Son that we might believe if we but see OUR reflection living in His message – in the look of love.  I realize not a chasm, but a journey that can be stained glass lit by an old, old lamp, the Holy Bible and the birth,  life, death, resurrection and ascension of Christ.  Christmas Eve and Day cannot be an empty-eyed, wrapping strewn living room if we first sing “Silent Night” and then enjoy, from October, 1998, Mark Lowry’s “Mary Did You Know.”

 

Mary did you know that your baby boy
would someday walk on water?
Mary did you know that your baby boy
would save our sons and daughters?

Did you know that your baby boy
has come to make you new?
This child that you’ve delivered
will soon deliver you.

Mary did you know that your baby boy
will give sight to a blind man?
Mary did you know that your baby boy
will calm a storm with His hand?
Did you know that your baby boy
has walked where angels trod?
When you’ve kissed your little baby
then you’ve kissed the face of God.

Mary, did you know…?
Mary, did you know…?
The blind will see, the deaf will hear
the dead will live a-gain
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak
the praises of the Lamb.

Mary, did you know that your baby boy
is Lord of all creation?
Mary, did you know that your baby boy
will one day rule the nations?

Did you know that your baby boy
is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
And the sleeping child you’re holding
is the great I AM.
Oh Mary?