In the beginning was shit.
At least, as far back as we can remember — shit. Strain your mind and see if you can recall a time when humanity wasn’t frayed at the edges (on our good days) or torn open all the way to the core (on most days).
In the beginning was shit; a world senseless and void, and very very dark.
These days optimism seems like insanity. We keep murdering one another, choosing madmen to rule over us, stripping our planet bare and raping our own Mother Earth, tripping over ourselves in a mad dash to consume as much as we can get our hands on: consume lies, consume the planet, consume each other, consume ourselves, until all that is left is shit.
In the beginning was shit, and God hovered over it all like a storm over the churning sea.
Then God spoke into the darkness and said “Let there be light.”
And not a damn thing happened.
God’s whisper was lost in the roar of humanity gone mad, the long scream of pain from the beginning of time till now, the endless cry of almost-hopelessness against the dark.
If we heard it at all, we barely acknowledged the Voice fluttering at the periphery of our consciousness. How could we entertain the Divine when we are creatures of shit?
(from shit we came, to shit we return, blessed be the name of the distant Lord we cannot know)
Then, desperate to find its way to us, the Voice became flesh and dwelt among us, which being translated means:
Then god took off his shoes and stepped into our shit.
This is not a metaphor. If you believe at all in the mystery of the incarnate Christ (which I do, most days), you might believe that once upon a time (two thousand Christmases ago, give or take) there was a man who was also god.
The stories handed down to us say he was born in a barn (or maybe a house?) amidst the common elements of our planet: blood, water, four-legged creatures, dirt, straw, and yes, shit. They say he lived with dirty hands — playing in the mud, scribbling in the dust, embracing the sick, breaking all the rules.
Sometimes it seems like he went out of his way to fuck up our conception of how a god should behave. By the end, he was kneeling before the people who should have worshiped him, wiping the shit off our tired feet with his own Divine hands.
In the beginning…. shit. Dear god It’s been a long time since then and we’ve almost forgotten what it felt like when your skin touched our own.
But if it’s not too late to ask for a Christmas miracle, could you find your way back to our weary planet and join us in our shit one more time?
published December 24, 2016
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