GIFT: WRAPPED IN REALITY, A CHRISTMAS POEM

BY DR. LAURA SAVAGE-RAINS

“There was also a prophet, Anna . . . She was now an 84-year-old widow. She never left
the temple area but worshiped God with fasting and prayer night and day.”

—Luke 2:36a, 37 (NIV)

My prayer-filled, sun-dried hands
reached upward

Silent sunbeams skipped around the serene scene

waiting to receive the newborn infant from the arms of an enraptured Simeon

between the Temple’s arcaded columns

Next to me, holding her breath, the youthful mother, Mary,

Cooing danced from the cage of two turtledoves

just as she would each time she released a
teetering-teething-teaching Jesus

Marble walls reverberated rabbis’ ancient arguments

A grateful grin grew on the lips of a watchful, tired Joseph

Pound, pound, pound—a carpenter hammered a startling sound

I cradled the bundle closer and
kissed his fist as tiny toes
pushed their way out
of the swaddled linen wrap

Dense clouds shrouded the gleaming sun

I nuzzled his chubby cheek
intoxicated by his newborn essence
So fresh, so soft, so fragile!
Those black curls remind me of my late husband

Collected coins clinked into Temple treasury urns

I had heard Simeon’s ominous words to the young parents
My prophet’s heart wary of
the weight of such truth

Unblemished lambs bleated; fragrant embers wafted from the Temple’s altar

A squirming baby Jesus grimaced, squinting his dark eyes,
quietly answering the musical warble of the turtledoves
and the pleading whimpers of the sheep
A holy conversation?

Sun rays emerged from brief entombment

I knew this moment would come.
I am actually holding God’s greatest Gift—
our Hope, our Savior!

Shining on all who would notice—or not—

I couldn’t resist placing one more kiss
on the perfect, olive skin of our infant Messiah
as I returned him to his mother’s welcoming, eager embrace

Piercing dark Temple corners made by human hands

The Gift now given,
my heralding heart and mission-filled feet
rush away

Blanketing peaceful warmth over peasants, publicans, and priests

ready to reveal this newborn Redemption
not yet rejected by the world’s restless arms

Author Dr. Laura Savage-Rains

Dr. Laura Savage-Rains, the Women’s Ministry Coach, is a certified Spiritual Intelligence Coach and an award-winning author and educator, specializing in coaching women in ministry. She is also a speaker, trainer, Bible teacher, and minister’s wife. She has more than 30 years of professional and volunteer ministry, leadership, and teaching experience, including overseas ministry. She lives with her husband, Mark, in Lakeway, TX (Austin), where he serves as minister of music at Lakeway Church. Laura’s website is WomensMinistryCoach.com and her book, God Chose a Woman First, is available on Amazon.

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