When God is Human

When God is Human

When God is Human: A Meditation on the Christ of Sinai Icon.


As I gaze through your face, I recall a line from the Te Deum prayer:

You did not shun the virgin’s womb.

First a fertilized egg, then a floating fetus

God in survival mode with a fragile cord of wonder and food


Yes, you have your mother’s face,

Except that you have your Father’s eyes.


Submitting to childhood,

Growing your body, developing your mind,

How much of yourself did you understand?


God becomes a grown-up.


Finely tuned to your Father’s voice,

You stop dead in your tracks

When hopeful, desperate cries of mercy

Reach your ready ears, poised to listen.


Healing fingers making muddy ointment

In your cupped, spit-filled palms

A salve for sore eyes.


Placid brow destined for a kingly crown

Surrendered soon enough to the cursed thorn.


Eyes full of light,

Peering clear past the layers of skin,

Into the deep interior of the heart.


Did your twitching nose detect the charcoal fires

Of Peter’s denial

And, later, his breakfast confession on the beach?


No doubt the Juda kiss

Left a heartfelt scar on your sweaty cheek.

What did Judas think when you kissed him back?


Those same lips, a resurrection later,

Blew smoke-rings of the Spirit

Into the faces of the disciples

Helping them inhale with joy and awe


I wonder about your voice, Jesus

Loud no doubt on the Galilean hills

Strident and shrill in the monied courts

Tender with the children

Forceful at Lazarus’ tomb.

I can’t wait to hear your voice, Lord.


You were stiff-necked, weren’t you

During the wilderness fast

Holy stubbornness, facing off with the Enemy.


Spiritual God takes on physical flesh.

Somehow adding extra dignity to all bodies everywhere.

Doesn’t this change everything?


Today, now, your body, the Almighty

With healed scars and muscled arms

Lifts us into the Presence

Through your whispers of prayer in the ears of the Father.