Daily Riches: The Mystery of the Incarnation (Denise Levertov and Leah Rampy)

“It’s when we face for a moment

the worst our kind can do, and shudder to know
the taint in our own selves, that awe
cracks the mind’s shell and enters the heart:
not to a flower, not to a dolphin,
to no innocent form
but to this creature vainly sure
it and no other is god-like, God
(out of compassion for our ugly
failure to evolve) entrusts,
as guest, as brother,
the Word.”
Denise Levertov

“In the brokenness and chaos of our time, can we hope to live in a way that honors our longing for peace on earth? A contemplative path invites us to be fully open and present to what is, just as it is, in each moment. That is not easy. The instinct to look away from the violent and destructive is strong for us. The urge to flee, fight or freeze is wired deeply into our reptilian brains. We fear that when we look into the face of tragedy we will despair, yet, when we open our spiritual hearts and minds to what is, we find that the sacred is there, in the midst of sorrow and loss. It is a pure gift that we sometimes sense so clearly: we are lavishly loved as God’s creation.” Leah Rampy

“And the Word became human and made his home among us.
He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness, and we have seen his glory,
the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.
…From his abundance we have all received
one gracious blessing after another for
…God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ.”
John 1:14-17

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • The news of any day makes it difficult to “face …the worst our kind can do.” Has it also prompted you to face “the taint” in your own self?
  • Have you resisted the temptation “to look away from the violent and destructive …to flee, fight or freeze?”
  • It is in the context of our broken world and tainted selves that God “entrusts, as guest, as brother, the Word” … “the Unique One … near to the Father’s heart.” What feelings arise when you consider this?

Abba, may my response to the incarnation be an awe that cracks open my mind’s shell and enters my heart.

For More: The Collected Poems of Denise Levertov Paul A. Lacey and Anne Dewey (editors)


These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”