2. The holy (broken) family

97946149ec32a9cbd336140747cb5257.jpg
Josef Čapek (1887-1945), Prodavač kohoutků. 1917, linořez, 21,2 x 14,2 cm

Maybe St. Joseph
Was just as broken as
My father.

We paint a rosy picture–
Joseph cradles a sleeping Mary
Joseph covers the baby Jesus
Joseph works in his shop
And the doves gather
As the lilies bloom.

But maybe
We’re wrong.
And our heart-cries
For perfection have forgotten:
Joseph was not announced by an angel or shielded from blemish or proclaimed by the heavens.
He was not a perfect man.

All we know is:
He followed God’s direction
And, in a book of quotes, histories, and stories…
He never says a word.

Maybe St. Joseph
Was just as broken
As the rest of us
/and the wounds we know
/and the scars we carry.

Maybe he never told Jesus
“I love you, son,”
Or
“I’m proud of you,”
Or
“Good work, child.”

Jesus was perfect. Mary was stainless.
But Joseph and Anne and Joachim and
The rest of the extended holy family?

Well, we could say:
Jesus imaginably experienced
Imperfection,
Miscommunication,
Childhood wounds,
Misunderstanding
….just like the rest of us.

And, note, (please note) that God Himself saw this fitting.
Or else every one in that line could have been
Immaculately conceived.

Maybe Jesus, too, felt hurt.
Maybe Jesus, too, felt let down.
Maybe Jesus, too, felt a gap between what could be and, somehow, what //was//.

Maybe, on this planet, we’ll never know.

History, like St. Joseph,
Is silent.

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