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The sheltering

From the April 1987 issue of The Christian Science Journal

First mangered within Mary's innocent body Then for the appearing on that winter night the lowliest of dwellings in a little town— with only the gentle beasts in their stall breathing, stirring until the break of a dawn that must have come with no more fanfare than any other dawn for those yawning as they awakened in the inn next door After that and so swiftly in obedience to a command the secret flight into an Egypt from whence ages before the whole great exodus of a tribe had begun now elected to provide refuge for a marked child Until a next instruction equally precise: "Arise, and take the young child and his mother— " only to find themselves (when come within reach of it) suddenly warned against re-entering their own Judea and thus impelled however wearied to proceed still further: to where— among green Galilean hills all the while being prepared for just such an entry— the sunlit growing of a little boy could safely go on Later much later, more than thirty years ahead— with a destiny now unflinchingly to be dared to its full— there would await in a garden that penultimate privacy: the sealed tomb wherein through a dark at its start the darkest earth can have known what came to pass no human tongue no, not one however learned, or skilled or reverentially deployed ever may with words intrude upon O wrought-out victory on behalf of a world! Alone—alone— in a supreme enactment between Father and Son. DORIS PEEL.