Nativity ~ Gertrude Kasebier (redux)

(c) 1901 Gertrude Kasebier~Newport, Rhode Island, 1901. "The Manger."

The Visit
A rush of white wings, disturbing and distant,
Word whispered from the mouth of God, filling the feminine ear.
Enfleshed then, the Ave Child, swells the belly of a brown-skinned girl,
who tenderly dreams of loving a man, a fashioner of homely, wooden things—
stalwart sacrificer of cypress, he builds a sturdy life for she who knows not man.
A Palestinian refugee, she has no family name to expiate the shame of her new shape; 
a girl grown up in Nazareth, she knows the lot of those who transgress Law.

Yet hearing in her heart the Holy Word, she feels the joy,
of one who carries within her womb—tender mercy, incarnate love.
She, least liberated, ponders the embryonic epiphany of an enslaved race.
Invoking ancestral voices, she articulates the deep heart cries of a nomadic people, who journeyed far from occupied lands, and placed their hope in the historic promise of an invisible, yet merciful God.

It is for this promise that her people have suffered;
it is for this reason that they exist at all.
It is her uncompromising assent to conceive the impossible
that makes visible the destiny of a chosen, yet outcast tribe.

As her man molds the corners of a cradle for the unknown, unborn child
she weeps for the sacrifice of trees, green saplings
hewn by loving hands to shelter a sacred son.
Dreaming that night, hand on her belly, she sees other hands, hateful, Herodic,
slashing olive trees, young yet mature, to bear and sacrifice the Savior of the world.

Suckling our little God, she experiences intimacy with the Heart of Heaven;
Soul searching in silence, she knows woman’s limitless love for her own flesh—
Heart severed in sorrow, she comprehends the reach of the human spirit to accept the sudden and startling embrace of the child which God chose to become.

~Noelle Clearwater c. 1996 revised 2020
Excerpt from  my poem “The Visit”

Have A Blessed  Christmas full of love and Good Will and A Peaceful New Year.
~Noelle Renee


  1. Dearest Noelle,

    We have just finished opening our gifts and I'm about to post my Christmas day post, as ever I'm late posting, but what a beautiful gift was waiting until last for me here.

    The softness of this image is so endearing, as a mother this goes straight to my heart, thank you, this has made my day even more beautiful.

    Sue x

  2. Merry Christmas and Peace to you and all you hold dear.

  3. Thank you Sue. So glad that I could offer you something on Christmas. Merry Christmas dear!

  4. Merry Christmas to the woman named after Christmas!
    Beautiful words and pretty photo too!


  5. Merry Christmas Noelle! Hoping Fergus found a little something in his stocking from Santa ; )

    I was thinking of Mary a lot yesterday. I came across the verse in Luke that says, "Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!" And I kept thinking about what Mary's life must have been like - the hardships and difficulties, the agonies of sorrow, the things that made all those lovely promises from the angel so many years ago seem like empty dreams. And I guess God must have known she would feel like that, so along with the blessings came that exhortation from Mary's cousin Elizabeth. That acknowledgement. "I know what's coming. And it's gonna be really hard for you to believe at times. So just remember these words as well...."

    Anyway, your words here seemed to echo my thoughts. And this photo. is. exquisite.

    Love to you on this day! May you be drenched in blessings, dear Christmas friend...


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