Thursday, 28 November 2013

Looking for Christmas, Anyone?

Yes, Christmas will be with us in less than a month. However, not everyone enjoys a happy Christmas. For homeless people and others down on their luck, it is a time much like any other time...unless we can somehow make it special for them too.

Years ago, I met a homeless gay man who had been physically ejected from his family home on Christmas Day after his father discovered he is gay. This Christmas, I know of a couple on the run from their families who disapprove of their relationship because they are on opposing sides of the same religion. [If God doesn't mind, why should anyone else?]

No matter what religious festival is being celebrated at whatever time of year, a little understanding goes a long way. It is, after all, part of the pact we make with love. And what worth any religion without love in it? I am told that the God in whom so many people believe is a God of Love. Take love out of the prayer and ritual and all I imagine He sees is someone enjoying an ego trip.

We can't always expect to understand those we love and may not always agree with them, but that doesn't (or shouldn't) mean we love them less. It has always been one of humankind's greater tragedies that too many of us let socio-cultural-religious traditions dictate how we live, even love.

At the heart of every religious celebration is (or should be) love in all its shapes and forms...or what is there left that any God would have anyone celebrate?  


Come, hear the bells of Christmas
though lost, alone, in the snow
recalling times past when we’d leave
a card for Santa, hot cocoa
and a mince pie, try to sleep while
listening out for reindeer hooves
pounding across the sky, a cheery cry
ringing loud and clear for children
everywhere to hear, know (for sure)
that we are loved, no matter who
we are or how our lives shaping up,
whether or no we’re finding signs
of Christmas or much the same cruelty
(or worse) than the day before

Peering ahead down an endless road,
lost souls, alone, no place to go
till time (at last) to reclaim gifts of love
and peace, count blessings, let bells
speak for us, echo high and low, anxious
to share out the joys of Christmas,
fearful for lost souls looking for refuge
from a bitter-sweet winter snow

Copyright R. N. Taber 2003; 2013

[Note: This poem has been slightly revised since it first appeared in Christmas Remembered, Anchor Books [Forward Press] 2003 and subsequently in 1st eds. of The Third Eye by R. N. Taber, Assembly Books, 2004; 2nd (revised) e-edition in preparation.]

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