A fellow blogger, C., wrote this:
“I look at my hands. His hands: thumbs and fingers, nails and palms. As if for the first time, I see the necessity of the incarnation. That these hands might hold and carry even the faintest mark of some other commission, a family resemblance before Cain, before Adam even.”
She sees her hands, and sees his hands there, in bone, marrow, and flesh. Already there, her father, my father, has created. And fathers can bring with them the curse of the garden — work, worry, and pain. Is this how to read these lines by my friend? I’m like the kid in the back of the class, sometimes inattentive, sometimes struck wide awake. A truth in these lines startles, but also finds me flung into darkness.
There is the hope that “these hands might hold and carry even the faintest mark of some other commission.” I am one of those disgruntled with the commission bequeathed and expected by father of son. I know these hands are my father’s. I wish they weren’t but how can that wish be other than self-disavowal? To avow them must be to feel in them the possibility of some other, less shameful commission — a commission I might embrace without shame, and in joy.
Can I find in them a “resemblance [to a a spirit] before Cain, before Adam”? And is that need answered by the spiritual necessity (my necessity) of flesh descending from other than my flawed father’s hands? Perhaps the incarnation, perhaps true Christmas, is the necessity for joy’s intervention in unblemished birth, the life-necessity to blot out (at least partially, at least in a saving moment) the shame and sin and despair of those crooked timbers. Perhaps it is the necessity to see through those rough hands to a child’s sweet smile, innocence, the birth amidst ruins this December 25.
— evening here . . . quiet . . . a sea breeze.