I wish we could share the beauty of my moment together right now. There are plenty of times to be real about life’s imperfections. But then there are the times when it is utterly important to breathe deeply of the sweetness in the air. My boy is sound asleep in his room after asking me to ‘rock him like a baby’ before getting in bed. Mind you he’s a tall two year old. Mama’s heart melts. The snow (and ice – well really, it’s mostly ice) has fallen, the Christmas tree is glowing, the fire is crackling, my husband has drifted off to sleep Lucy Pevensie style by the fire and I am soaking in the warm silence, and typing. Moments like these bring a silence that breeds romanticism. 🙂 (One should note – nearly every room in my home is currently a mess. Life is not perfect…I’ve just settled in a small corner where I can’t see the mess!)
A few weeks ago I was reading the second chapter of Luke and something hit me so hard – as if I’d never read the words before. Isn’t that the most beautiful thing?!
Here’s what I read:
“And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.”
Have you ever had one of those days where it seems that even your lost keys are against you? Seriously all you need to do is get to the store to pick up apples and toilet paper. But getting out of the house unfolds into one of life’s great challenges: the shirt you thought would be clean, wasn’t. The two year old wants to bang against your legs as you put on eyeliner. Said two year old really doesn’t care to get out of his way too soggy overnight diaper and runs yelling “Noooooo!!!!!” You stump that same old toe on a red Hot Wheels that has blended into the red of the rug on the kitchen floor. Somehow, by the grace of God, you are finally dressed and he is finally dressed. The purse is in hand. He is hoisted into the car seat and wrestled in to be buckled. You sink in to the driver’s seat and reach for your keys. WHERE ARE THE FREAKING KEYS?????!!!!! And you literally have this thought somewhat consciously – ‘I am going to hurt someone.’ Next thought: ‘Are you kidding me God? Do you see me here? Are lost keys in this moment REALLY necessary?’
There are simply those moments when my sense of entitlement to a certain level of ease and what we may like to call blessing, take me back a bit. Hello ugly.
And then I read that teeny tiny phrase at the end of verse 7: “….and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.”
Double take. No room for them in the inn. If there was ever a human entitled to a little special treatment from the Most High – IT WAS MARY. Mary had the kind of faith that awed the heavenlies. She was willing to sacrifice every single bit of her reputation to submit to the Lord’s plan. She was even willing to go it totally alone if it had been too much for Joseph. Who knows what her parents thought. She carried the most precious human being in her middle and then got on a donkey. A donkey. Only to get to Bethlehem and be told “We’re so sorry. There’s no room here tonight.”
If I applied my humanity to Mary, her thoughts may have gone something like “Really. Really? Do you see me God? I feel so much pressure that I might explode. Was it too much to ask you to divinely touch my bladder so that the last pit stop wasn’t necessary? If we had gotten here twenty minutes ago would that room have been available? DO YOU SEE ME AND YOUR CHILD???”
Somewhere along the line, we’ve come under the impression that the one God blesses does not encounter challenge.
But it’s stories like Mary’s that make it so clear how off that is! If anyone deserved some TLC – it was sweet Mary. But God had a bigger picture and a much more beautiful story unfolding that superceded what we may think Mary deserved in our human perspective. Our Savior took his first breath of air on Earth as a human in a stable, with animals and cloaked in humility. In fact, the very truth that He came as a humble King is a huge part of the story of Salvation. Mary’s lack of comfort became a cornerstone piece of a story that has been told for thousands of years and sets this God-man apart. He came in humility, he lived in humility and he died in humility. There was something of much more import taking place than whether or not God was good enough to give them a room instead of a stable and a manger.
Mercy, Father. Forgive me for belting out my “God where are you???” cries when the challenge presents itself. Humility is a beautiful gift and this is a beautiful season to turn our eyes to It.