Sunday, November 20, 2011

Making Room

"And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn."  Luke 2:7
From the instant He was born, Jesus was identified with the lost souls of this earth.  He was born in an inappropriate place, because there was no room in the usual places.  He and His mother became "at risk", turning a filthy stable into a delivery room.  I assume they did not have a lot of material resources.  Material resources would have likely secured a more appropriate place and attendants.  Yet the owners of the inn gave what shelter they had to offer the poor young couple.  And the poor young couple wrapped their child in the cloths that they had, and made room for Him in the manger.

Making room is what makes or breaks us.  Someone in this world must make room for us, or we may be lost.  Someone must be willing to allocate times, spaces, and resources just for us and our use.  It does not matter if we are a day old or ninety years old.  Making room is the essence of true love.  

In our culture we are not about making room.  We believe that people need a minimum number of square feet, and dollars, and whatever.  We limit how much room we are willing to make, based upon the formulaic mandates of the American dream.

Making room is risky business.  What if that poor young couple sues me because their baby picks up some illness in my stable?  What if I make room and that person robs me?  What if I make room and I find myself impoverished, exhausted, infected?  What if making room leaves me brokenhearted?

Making room implies something that we often do not consider.  Making room requires sacrifice.  If I decide to make room, I must reallocate my resources.  I must give up some of my precious spaces... spaces I have filled with beauty, or usefulness, or things.  I must give up some of my material resources.  It costs to add a place to the table, a seat in the car, a bed under a roof.  Where must I trim my budget to make room for this person?  I must give up some of my time.  My day is already full.  The demands on my attention are daunting, and yet I must carve out the time.  A bed and meal is not enough.  Boarding houses do that.  Homeless shelters do that.  Prisons do that.  Families are different.  Families make room, and this is how they love.

Risky, messy, costly love.  The only kind of love that can save us. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Are You Feeling Old?

I don't believe we give young people enough credit.  Our hearts and minds are moved powerfully when we are young and have very little power of our own.  When we are old and powerful, we find our hearts cold and dull.  It is not strange.  It is the way of the human race.  We must wake up each day and force our old bodies and tired minds to do the work we began when we were young.

We have not changed our minds, or given up, or failed.  We have not necessarily grown older and wiser.  We are exactly the same as we used to be, only now we have the power to do something about it.  

Back then no one took me seriously because I was so young.  Back then I had no money, no education, no experience.  Back then I was scattered and disorganized.  Back then I was selfish and easily discouraged.

What now?  My back hurts when I get up in the morning?