“Let the stable still astonish
Straw — dirt floor, dull eyes
Dusty flanks of donkeys, oxen;
Crumbling, crooked walls;
No bed to carry that pain
And then, the child,
Rag-wrapped, laid to cry
In a trough
Who would have chosen this?
Who would have said ‘Yes,’
‘Let the God of all the heavens
Be born here, in this place’?
Who but the same God
Who stands in the darker, fouler rooms
of our hearts
and says ‘Yes,’
‘Let the God of Heaven and Earth
be born here –
in this place.’ (Leslie Leyland Fields)
I first read this in a Jan Karon book called Light from Heaven (which I highly recommend) and it captivated me. How true it is that the same God who chose to be born and placed in a feeding trough would choose to be born in my heart, a heart darker and fouler than any manger. I don’t say that to say “Woe is me. Feel sorry for me,” but to say that is the human heart apart from Christ,
I love that God could have left the world to stew in its own mess but didn’t. I love that God could have (and probably should have) left me to my own devices to figure a way out of my own self-created disaster, but He didn’t.
The Bible says that while I was yet a sinner (not while I was trying my very best and doing all the Boy Scout duties and living right) Christ died for me. While I was an enemy of God and opposed to everything He stood for, He became one of us and died for me.
Christmas is where this started. That’s why I love Christmas so much. That and all the festive decorations and gatherings. And food. Let’s not forget all the food.