that gentle awkward yearning I feel, just to touch your face
Sheldon Vanauken, A Severe Mercy
Look! The stable is silent now.
The shepherds have returned to the still moonlit fields.
The angels have laid down their trumpets and hushed their song.
Only the stable remains, a dark silhouette in the quiet night.
Creep up to the door. A slice of silver moonlight breaks the gloom inside.
There they are.
Mary, her sleeping form curled protectively around her precious baby.
Joseph, exhausted by the burden of caring for his new family.
And Jesus. So small and helpless a bundle.
Look! One soft pink hand has escaped from his swaddling, tiny fingers curled tight.
See how long and dark his eyelashes are.
If I touch his cheek, will I wake him?
Will he know I am here?
Will his power change me?
Can I? May I?
Lean down. One outstretched finger brushes that soft baby skin.
Gently. As delicate as a butterfly landing.
Blue eyes open sleepily. And as I look...
I am looking at the Creator of the universe.
My soul longs for your salvation;
I hope in your word.
My eyes long for your promise;
I ask, “When will you comfort me?”