When I think of the Christmas story, where I see myself in it, I imagine myself the stable. It is a working place Lord, this heart of mine. It isn’t a place where one sits down in quiet often enough, it backs up with the muck. You know it. This heart here, it is bound to wander. Wander out into the cold of night, to leave all the peace and heat inside.
Oh Lord. How you surprised that place! Who could expect to find you there? Shouldn’t we find you in the palace somewhere? But no. You set yourself in the middle of the mess, you choose that to be the place to bend yourself to earth. How could you Lord? Live in this heart? Knowing the back and forth it sways, the extra paths it takes. The detours it chooses over your best. Still. You bend into it. You CHOOSE it. You believe it to be the only true. The stripped away of pretense. The illusions shook out. The heart, at its bloodiest, the stable at its rankest, these you choose. I still cannot fathom it. The sinner at the rocks of the bottom, the heart that looks more like the mire. You choose it. You make it home. You create it and over and over you move into it. My boy he asks me about what is BAD and I tell him the WHOLE world is Yours, You make it…and yet…everything in it we can twist into sin. All the very best gifts you gave us, we can figure a way to contort it into something that looks more like death than life. We break it till it little resembles your purpose for it. Our worst offense Lord is what we do with the hearts you give us. Allow them to twist and shape shift into nightmares and shadow, the absence of any light.
Still. Here I wait for your surprise. For you to shock and astound and arrive. Here, this heart, that stable, the vacant and broken these you choose to embody. You Lord. YOU.
God. Be with us still.
Emmanuel. In this WEARY world.