I was surprised an honored this week to learn that a friend of mine read my last advent poem as a worship piece during a time of communion she had with her church group. It’s an unexpected joy to just to know that someone out there is reading, but even moreso an honor to know that something I wrote was used for such a sweet sacramental time. This week, though, I had the monumental task of writing an advent poem about joy. Not only is this difficult because joy has already been so well written on by the likes of Isaac Watts and enjoyed accompaniment from none other than Beethoven, but it’s a subject I feel some distance from. I tend to have a personality somewhat prone to melancholy and that really comes out in my writing. Sometimes joy requires quite a bit of courage. And then a song lyric from church this morning connected it for me. A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices. The image that came to mind was that of a child leaping within his mother’s womb. I can imagine Elizabeth feeling a thrill within her as John the Baptist leapt within her because Jesus was near. I imagine myself living in this world being like a child in the womb. I can hear the faint muffles of my Father in Heaven’s voice and it thrills me to know someday I will be born into the great forever and hear him clearly. Many of Emily and my friends have been having babies lately, and it’s mind-boggling the amount of things that can go wrong. It seems like the odds are that the child won’t make it. And yet, every year by the grace of God, babies are born and we celebrate. I threw all of these thoughts into some heroic couplets (to inspire bravery!) and viola…
If Joy is Like an Infant Child Unborn
If joy is like an infant child unborn,
Then it shall grow in constant scorn.
For in the womb is hapless treachery;
abnormal growth, ectopic pregnancy.
And even more in birth does danger lie:
if premature or breeched a child could die.
But God is good and somehow babes are born
and birth a time to praise and not to mourn.
Against all odds, the more are saved than lost,
and brave the mothers be despite the cost.
So joy is like a child inside the womb
who hears his fathers voice and thrills to bloom.
For unto us a savior child is born,
And we have joy for he has took our scorn.