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“When a person has found something which he prefers to life itself, she for the first time has begun to live.”

G.K. Chesterton

Now that the hype and commercialism of Christmas is over, perhaps we can see life in real time. I often need to re-cap the Christmas season after it happened because holidays have a way of stealing the sacred. I have noticed (being a church goer for most of my life), how often we commercialize and hype the Christ child as well.  On the other side of the scale, I notice that we tend to overly sanitize and etherealize the incarnation of Christ.

Sometimes I forget that incarnation of “The Word” was here all along and perhaps manifested for the first time through the Cosmic Creation.  That is a big deal.  Christmas is a time to ponder the incarnation of the Word in flesh.  Christmas is the time when the Cosmic Christ became really small by entering into the world to be… human.

To be or not to be was not the question for Jesus.  He knew how to “be”.

I find it so compelling that God would enter the world as a vulnerable baby, a refugee, an immigrant and a fugitive, after having been conceived  to an unwed mother.  Do you hear what I hear?  I hear the message of being lost.

God lost himself in the frailty of the collective human soul so that he could show us how to become visible.

Maybe life is about becoming visible.

Maybe learning how to “be”, makes us visible.  Jesus did not come to live a religious life, nor did he dismiss life in any way.  He came to help us live out our true humanity (John 1:14). How I long to see more evidence that we really have come to terms with that reality (especially as professed Christians).  For me it means really seeing my lost-ness (humanity) and yet not caving to despair.  I think that is a huge invitation to live the life I am in right now.

Most of us are lost without maps.  Just like when we need mall maps to locate our bearings before we can find our way around the place, there is within each of us an arrow whispering, “you are here”.

Maybe one way to see the incarnation of Christ is to hear the rawness of his humanity. He came to show us the Divine within; the little arrow pointing “you are here”, is the hidden Christ.

Have you noticed any arrows pointing to the hidden Christ within you lately? 

Next week I will be making a day-long retreat with a good friend.  We both intend to take the time to examine our life maps in 2013, to notice when God was pointing to himself in us.  After our retreat is over my friend and I will share our new-found treasures with one another. This is how I want to move into 2014 because Jesus said to “Remember Me”.

As I approach the next few days in my Catholic tradition of celebrating the Epiphany (which means “to reveal”), I am trying to be present to this revelation.  G. K. Chesterton has a way of reminding me that I want to be who God is in me, more than I want life.  To me, that is life.

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Val Dodge Head

Val Dodge Head, M.A., lives in Grand Rapids, MI, and serves on the CenterQuest staff as the communications coordinator and a variety of other roles. As a spiritual director and teacher, she loves to build bridges between the good and bad and to envelop herself in various forms of contemplation, all of which have helped her see God in all things good, true, and beautiful wherever and in whomever it leads.

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