Preparing the Heart: The Father’s Stare

Hubble Space Telescope photo of “The Eye of God” nebula



In the cold season, in a locality accustomed to heat more than
to cold, to horizontality more than to a mountain,
a child was born in a cave in order to save the world;
it blew as only in deserts in winter it blows, athwart.
To Him, all things seemed enormous: His mother’s breast, the steam
out of the ox’s nostrils, Caspar, Balthazar, Melchior—the team
of Magi, their presents heaped by the door, ajar.
He was but a dot, and a dot was the star.
Keenly, without blinking, through pallid, stray
clouds, upon the child in the manger, from far away—
from the depth of the universe, from its opposite end—the star
was looking into the cave. And that was the Father’s stare.
~Joseph Brodsky “Star of the Nativity”
… if you have left out Christ, there is no manna from heaven, no water from the rock, no refuge from the storm, no healing for the sick, no life for the dead. If you leave out Christ, you have left the sun out of the day, and the moon out of the night, you have left the waters out of the sea, and the foods out of the river, you have left the harvest out of the year, the soul out of the body, you have left joy out of heaven, yea, you have robbed all of its all. There is no gospel worth thinking of, much less worth proclaiming in Jehovah’s name, if Jesus be forgotten.
~Charles Spurgeon
As the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last, Jesus is everything in between and so the Father’s eye upon His Son includes us within His gaze.

4 thoughts on “Preparing the Heart: The Father’s Stare

  1. Our Creator-God — watching over His greatest gift to us — TO US!
    What have we done to merit it?
    What have we done to share its beauty and the suffering and turmoil that will soon follow? How have we proclaimed the event – openly – with joy and thanksgiving – or do we let others try to legislate and otherwise deny its significance from every facet of our lives, including idolizing a rotund jolly man in a red suit and bypassing the needy as we keep shoving our new ‘chip’ credit cards into the ever-present machines?
    How have we shared, or not shared, His Incarnation it and the message of His arrival for all to hear and to have hope?

    Emily, this photo, Brodsky’s and your clear, prophetic words jumped immediately into my soul. And that is where they will stay.
    For a long, long, time. I printed and cut the photo where it is taped eye level on my PC. And I have forwarded the entire post to family — especially to
    my three grandchildren – and to a ‘proud’ agnostic, and a very ‘left wing’ rabid avowed Humanist in the DC area.
    I brought it downstairs to share with my 70- y.o .brother, a former Marine Viet Nam war vet who saw action. His immediate reaction? Tears slowly cascading down
    his face! A heart softened by God’s beauty and His Presence is a powerful thing to behold.

    Cannot help but wonder what kind of soil will greet it!
    That’s the easy part. Now it is up to the Holy Spirit to do His thing!

    Thank you from my heart – and from my grateful soul.


  2. I love reading your words and seeing the beauty you capture of nature, but this one has touched my heart in the most tender spot so far…I am left speechless and blessed!


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