Children are full of joy, giggles and holy presence. As we say, what is Christmas without children? They may not know the stories, have life experience but they certainly know the feeling.
My two grands, four and two arranged the manger scene on the mantel last night.* They've never been to Sunday school, are not taught religion and yet the figurines were handled with excitement, great care and feeling. The donkey lost an ear, the Babe bounced from the mantle to the floor twice but both proved to be hardy. The children did not care, their eyes glowed as the two wise men and one wise women, the Mon and Dad took their place in the manger on the mantle.
The one foot Santa was unwrapped next. As the red suit and beard emerged -- an intake of breath. Eyes widened and mouths formed a perfect 0. A high octane sound of pure glee, innocence and deafening aliveness filled the room. Two children bursting their skin with an ecstasy welling up in an instant from a deep, deep land of joy, love, and aliveness.
Christmas is feeling and magic. "The deepest things after all are intangible."** All that matters to the two grands is the feeling -- the surge of joy, sweetness, and love from somewhere, some land within. Maybe this is the child our souls know about without religion, theology, without a face or a word, always waiting and always ready to birth in our mangers.
* Christmas 2012