The night was bitter with cold.
Warming my hands by the fire, I waited for him.
Even as the rest of the crowd moved quietly on, he lingered. With his little blonde head peering over the manger. Taking it all to heart in his slow and steady way.
The baby. The straw. The stillness.
Almost measure by measure, second by second, a new sense would overtake him.
The smell. The chill. The silence.
And then, after what seemed like an eternity, he gently closed his eyes, took a deep breath and moved quietly towards me.
Taking my hand in his, he bent my ear to his face and said,
“Mommy, we need to get baby Jesus a house.”
I giggled softly in my way, looked deeply into his brown eyes and assured him, “Yes, baby, yes we do.” But even in the sweet levity, his words stayed with me as we drove the distance home.
I paused. I thought. I wondered.
And although a year has passed, I still find myself holding tightly to that precious moment. A moment where a little boy realized something most profound,
Jesus CHOSE to come into a world that had no room.
He chose the humility of a birth that would be a startling contrast to what the world would expect of a King.
He chose it so clearly that a small child could easily identify its irony.
HE. CHOSE. IT.
Even those he used to usher in His coming instinctively knew that this was as it should be.
Mary did not stop as she labored to berate the innkeeper. Joseph did not argue as the stable was offered. The shepherds did not return to the inn and say, “You, clod! Do you have any idea who you made sleep among animal poo?”
There was none of that.
Only the groans of labor. Cows lowing. And a baby crying.
Made celestial in the heavenly host that announced the arrival of a King to those who would not only fall prostrate but would go door to door to make the news known to anyone who would hear.
A stark juxtapose to what we so readily do with our modern-day nativity scene.
Where we scream and shout and wring our hands in anguish,
“THIS WORLD, THIS COUNTRY, THIS GOVERNMENT HAS NO ROOM FOR JESUS!!!!”
Where we want to believe that it is our task to brow beat the world into peity.
But Jesus came, friends.
Jesus came knowing there would be no room.
He did not scream or shout or wring His hands at us and say,
“DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM???? WHERE IS MY ROOM???? WHY IS THERE NO ROOM?????”
He came and lived and died loving one precious person at a time.
He fed thousands. He healed the blind. He rescued the adulteress.
And I wonder as I use my breath to lament over this and that and such and such, if He is not also bending my ear to his face and asking, “Sara, do you have room for me????”
“I came into this world in straw and stench and stillness. I came not to find room in an inn, a stable or a town. Nor did I come to find my place in a government or movement or culture.”
“I came to find a place in you.”
“I came for you.”
So it is here even amongst the tinsel and the wrapping paper and the bows, I stop. I do my best to welcome the slow and steady. And I peer gently over the manger bed…
To see a King mewling softly in swaddling clothes. To see love incarnate accepting the least of humanity for my sake. To see the cold and the dark obliterated by a heavenly warmth and celestial light.
It is here I see with a clarity that cannot be helped.
Where I quietly take His hand and say, “Build it, Jesus.”
Build Your house. Build it here. Build it now.
Just. Build. It.