When I hear that “the Word became flesh” what impresses itself upon me immediately is that the divine abides in the vicinity of the human. I take that as a hopeful sign, or perhaps the clearest sigh of hope. That the divine abides close to the human allows the divine to appear from its hiding place into the openness of what is human, and provides a valuable clue to that which is human. To be human is to be present. The human being exists as presence, here and now. The divine can choose to abide in a dimension of its own choosing, yet it has chosen to abide in the vicinity of that which by its own nature is presence. The Word, on the other hand, vocalization, sound is borne on the wind and rapidly disperses. The word as sound does not abide. The word must become other than itself in order to abide. It becomes “flesh”, it invites itself into the neighborhood of the human. It takes form in the human, and so the word abides. The word does not abide alongside or within the human. The word becomes human, and in becoming other than itself, abides, and remains present. In a world of miracles, the abiding presence of the Word is the beginning of all miracles.