Welcome to Day 14 of our Holiday Haiku Challenge
Today's guest, Kelli Stuart, is a writer and a storyteller at heart. The author behind the wildly popular blog Minivans Are Hot.com, Kelli has traveled extensively, constantly honing her craft at weaving words into tales as she experiences life and the world. Kelli can now be found at KelliStuart.com where she shares her encouraging message to never give up on your dreams and passions with mothers who often feel lost in their mothering tasks. Kelli currently lives in Tampa, Florida with her perpetually patient husband and their four rambunctious children.
Today's Challenge is to write a haiku inspired by the earthly enemy of Jesus, the protagonist in our Christmas story:
In the Shadow of the Enemy
by Kelli Stuart
I heard a sermon not too long ago about the birth of Christ. It was one of those heady sermons that you wish you could listen to over and over, because the information was so deep and rich that you couldn't wrap your mind around one sentence before the pastor moved on to another.
He drilled down deep into the birth of the Savior. He went beyond the manger and the wise men, and he told us of the irrefutable evidence for Christ's miraculous birth. From the eclipse that likely hung a large, bright star over Bethlehem, to the time and date stamps that were most probable to Jesus' birth, the sermon was one giant revelation from beginning to end.
And then he hit the crux of his story. The climax, the birth, the moment when God entered this world wrapped in the flesh of a baby. Small, vulnerable, the perfect embodiment of God and man. With the star hung high in the sky, scientific evidence offered to prove it's existence, the Pastor fed us one more beautiful morsel:
Jesus' proximity to Herod.
It's quite possible that Emmanuel was born within five miles of Herod's palace. God not only ushered His Son into the world as a baby, but He placed Jesus right there in the presence of His enemy.
The King of all the earth, as small and frail as they come, born in the shadow of the king of the land. Herod trembled at the news, rage, selfishness, and fear all mingling together, dictating his hunger to remain in power.
It's horrifying and beautiful, all at once. How often does God send us to the place that seems most dangerous? How often do we find ourselves in the presence of those hostile toward the faith? How desperately does He long for us to trust Him, to believe Him greater than the proximity of danger?
Yet in the end, we see it. When God tells us to be still and know that He is God, when He commands us not to fear, but to place full trust in Him - He does not do so as One unacquainted with danger. At His most vulnerable, God became man, and He placed Himself within Herod's reach.
It seems silly to boil this depth down to 17 syllables. Is it even possible to capture the beautiful dichotomy of Christ's birth inside a manger in Bethlehem, while Herod hovered nearby, anxious, simmering, willing to keep his throne at all costs?
Gloria in Excelsis Deo,