Prepare

         Prepare a way for the Holy One.
         Clear a path of God to come by.

                  —Matthew 3.3

The prophet cries to prepare a way
for the Promised One,
and we panic.
We write shopping lists,
and head to the store for the treasures
we must surely present.
We survey with dread the mess of a heart
we must clean up for the holy visitor.

But after all the cleansing the house is still
just our little place.
The Gift is not to be found in any market.
We fear our unpreparedness,
our failure to adequately repent,
still rushing, still dusting this
and hiding that.

In the din the Spirit speaks softy.
We are not asked to clean the house
for the weekend
to impress the Unexpected Guest.
We are asked to prepare a room
and set a place at the table
for the rest of our lives
for the Beloved,
the child who already dwells within.