An Advent Meditation

This is to all who serve on the human front, wearing any mask that will get you home. A word: While we are all dying to get out, there is one who died to get in. Disguised as one of us, this one came creeping over enemy lines, across the DMZ, relying on our infatuation with innocence just long enough to secure the passage. An instant later the yapping jaws snapped shut in a slaughter of all innocents—cutting the tongues off all to silence the one.

This is to you who wake up daily on the front lines of life, in the dystopia of the modern world where each one ticks like a clock or bomb; where young ones cut themselves on the fractured edge of a post-modern morning; where Gens X, Y, and Z trade their parents' headlong linear flight into oblivion for the virtual rush of binary bungee jumping. Just how deep does this rabbit hole go?

And to you broken ones who wander the front lines picking rags and plastic bags; who hoard IRAs and modest portfolios and chances at the Daily Double. And it's to you in the second wave up all night stringing together code to bind up the mainframe, twisting it into a safety net to keep us from breaking our necks in the fall. (Or is it a trip wire and we'll all go together when we go?)

Homo sapiens have evolved. Now we are Homo sapiens sapiens. We are two-headed like Eng and Chang the Siamese Twins—but our heads are from different countries with no common tongue. Our symbols flash like broken traffic lights, or fall through our teeth like abandoned cars, condoms, a passed-up penny, only to the level of the collarbone. They lodge there, useless, against the lump in our separate throats.

Busted. It's all busted. "The repairman," repeats the recorded message, "is out of cell phone range."

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Sojourners Magazine November-December 2001
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