IMG_1133Seven days ago I hailed a cab at NYC’s LaGuardia as a Starbucks ad popped up on my phone promising me Dazzle.

The city flashed dazzle on nearly every Manhattan sidewalk. Macy’s on 34th presented dazzling Christmas window displays, and nearby massive billboards flashed a brilliance of digital dazzle across the night skies. Saint Nicks on parade, New York’s Nicks on the court, millions of humans, ceaseless consumption, mind-bending holiday Dazzle!

Out and inside, around and beside, and beyond the Dazzle just beneath the din, Immanuel – God with us.

As I traversed the concrete landscape I passed by homeless men and women wrapped in tattered cardboard coats, donned with frayed borrowed hats, “Hungry…out of work…alone against this cold.hard.wall. Brother can you spare a dime?”

The loud and steady whirp whirp of sirens every night, all through the night, compelled me to press my face close against the cold window and reach, somehow, beyond the protection to catch a glimpse of, to stand along with and beside the angry protestors straining against the system, growing hoarse as they cried for justice.

Immanuel – Is God with us?

Today my seven day sojourn came to an end. I trudged toward 3rd Avenue in the POURING down rain, in woolen Uggs, pulling my bags through grimy grey, street-side and lake-like, puddles. Drenched, I pressed bravely and aggressively through a cacophony of cars, and attempted to hail a Yellow Cab. Suddenly, out of the sopping-wet fray appeared a slight, rather short, older man. His wrinkled face surfaced from beneath a broad and protective umbrella, “Can I call a car for you?” I thought, “Can I hug you right now?”

Out and inside, around and beside. Immanuel…God with us.

Born of a virgin on a one-bright-star night.
God became flesh held together by joints and marrow, and God’s blood pulsed through his human veins and brought life that caused death that brings new life.

God with magnificence and without pretense dazzled. Immanuel-God with us.


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