Regardless of where we live and what we do, we can live in love and service. That, the camel tells us, is how Christ’s love manifests itself in the world.
There is an implied criticism in the poem of the kings for not having stuck it out with the Christ child–that’s why the camel has to slip away–so perhaps the poem does echo Eliot’s. We once were in touch with divinity before returning to our normal lives. Then again, as I said, we all of us lose the vision and must rediscover it. Again and again. You’ll probably recognize the Biblical allusion in the final stanza but, in case you don’t, it’s Jesus’ assertion (Matthew 19:24) that “it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of Heaven.” “Effendi” is Arabic for “Master.”
Epiphany from a Camel's Point of View