As the fetus grew in Mary’s womb, the 2nd Person rejoiced in this powerful creation. The 2nd Person sang as the child grew into being, exploring the interior world of Mary’s body, intently observing the wonder of the workings of the human flesh, nerve, blood, and bone. The 2nd Person surprised himself as he began to become a male and what that meant and how he felt about having a human body. In his divinity he understood the shape and scope of being human, yet the 2nd Person was surprised at the specific moment to moment physical awareness of the developing fetus. He said to me, “Living as a human body is more than just knowing.” For the first time but not the last, I felt the 2nd Person of God humbled by experiencing what it was to be human, to have a body.
As I said before I remember aspects of all these events this outside of time. Not only was I with the child in the womb, but….
….I was with the human baby when he first felt pain from falling hard on the ground learning to walk. The divine nature of the baby wanted to make this pain go away, but my presence was a reminder that would not happen. As a human child, pain would be accepted. The child was then surprised by the arms of Joseph lifting him up, hugging him and telling him that the pain would pass. The child felt the warmth of Joseph’s shirt and the smell of Joseph’s body and felt safe. The divine rejoiced in that feeling of both the pain and of the warm embrace.
….I was with the boy when he angered his mother. Normally patient, Mary had told the child to be careful about little miracles. She knew her child was more than human and was watchful to make sure that her boy kept his divine nature under control. For a while she carefully pointed out to him that he should be careful not to do some wondrous thing that people would not understand. She told him that he had to be careful, but he was boy of seven who liked to show off. In the market of Nazareth, a vendor kept pigeons to sell, but often failed to feed them. Seeing the starving birds one day, the boy waited until the vendor was busy, climbed up on a stool and opened the pigeon cage. He then ran away from the market with a flock of pigeons flying closely behind him. When they reached the edge of town the pigeons flew away. Mary heard about this later in the day and, when she found the boy, she scolded him for the first time. The boy was overcome with shame, a deep feeling of shame, a burning on his face as he listened to his angry mother reminding him how he must be careful. He felt sick with regret that he had angered his mother, a new awareness for the divine and human in him. The boy had to hide alone until his shame was replaced by a new commitment to listen to his mother.
….I was with the boy when early in puberty he felt sexual attraction for the first time. An older girl who sometimes worked with him helping his father prepare chairs for the market brushed up against him. The boy was startled to feel his body warm with a sexual attraction to her. What did that mean? What was happening? The divine nature in him understood all aspects of sexuality but had never felt the unsettling sense of longing for another person in a sexual way. The boy ran to the building that was used for communal gathering and prayer and hid in a corner praying that the feeling would pass. At moments like that I had to keep watch, I learned early on in his life that he was always being observed by spiritual entities, who if given the chance would try to help. In most cases I wouldn’t allow it. In a firm voice, I demanded that the boy be left alone to feel as other boys felt, to be human. At this particular developmental moment, I was tempted to allow some interference to console the surprised and anxious boy, but I knew I could not.
The hardest moment was when I was with the man during the Agony in the Garden. By then he was aware of me and, as he faced the days ahead fully understanding what he would sacrifice, he asked a simple question, “Would his life allow people to make the right choices to create the future ahead.” I must have hesitated for a brief second before I said, “Yes, of course.” He asked me what I wasn’t telling him. I gulped, took a deep breathe, and told him that his sacrifice would shape human history to the good, but along the way many terrible things would happen. We had discussed human history in the time between his life and mine before, but I had held back on telling him a difficult truth. He looked at me and I saw the man who I had lived alongside since his birth, whom I could not deny. When he said, “Tell me worst of it.” I reluctantly told him about what some humans in history would do in his name. I described the crimes, the wars, the theft, the brutality, the arrogance, the ugliness of what people would do saying they were doing it in his name. Lastly, I told him of the crimes against children that would be done by these people. For the first time, this man felt despair. In that moment all aspects of the world, physical and spiritual, were shaken and changed. The other two persons of the Trinity shared in that feeling of despair, and I felt that creation might unravel. The Trinity knew the future as it knew the past, but when the human man who was Jesus felt despair in the present that could not be dismissed by foreknowledge. The agreement that humans would be allowed to be free to live and feel as other people did was almost shattered. All three persons of the Trinity in that moment were tempted to take away free will and shape the choices of people beyond human choice. The evil ahead would not happen. As the conviction of the Three together to make the future unfold as they would choose, overriding human will, I spoke up. “Human despair is powerful, but is it powerful enough for you to take away human choice? I have heard and seen many dark things done in the name of God. I know you can change history anyway you want, but, if you do this, you will take away my and every human’s choice to do good, to love freely, and to be a partner with you in the building of creation. This choice would take away what I hold most dearly, my right to be who I am, make my own mistakes, find you through my own truth as you have made me. Put aside despair and trust that I can, that others can, that I will, that others will choose to work alongside you freely. Even if I fail and many fail, even 1 person choosing would be enough.” As I said that, one human image flashed through all of us, the beautiful face of Mary. If freedom allowed for her to be whom she was, we all knew it was enough. I felt the love of the Trinity embrace me with gratitude and for the first time, I felt the human hand of the Word made Flesh in mine. I knew I would hold onto it in the days ahead.
I hope, readers, that you understand as I relate these fragments, this story will flow out of me as it will. I will do my best to take you along with it.