Epiphany begins in the ER. The wise men and women, wearing blue scrubs and blanked faces, bring offerings of diagnostic tests, backless gowns and endless waiting. We make our bed in a manger harsh-lit and bleating mechanical sheep, sounding alarms and crash-codes at all hours. We doze as we are able, slipping in and out of consciousness and the fear that comes with it. X-rays, CTs, bloodwork—each in turn they came to see this child of the Most High, the fearfully and wonderfully made, now fearfully afraid of being unmade. At last, without answer, we are released to the empty night and what dreams might finally come.

But, I am reminded, God-in-Christ was present. Found in the struggle, the stabbing pain and uncertainty it breeds. God, it’s said, slept in the whirring bed, whispered along the O2 line, filtered down through the IV to run amongst the blood. What a gift, this body. Not lightly given nor taken from. Christ-in-God, unannounced, did not come to thought then, in the shouting fluorescents and prodding eyes that cared only to find the twisted root and out it. Only now, laid down at last, come to mind, wondering at the Presence and its passing, in and out of the body, like breath.

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