Friday, December 25, 2009

2000 years ago a baby boy was born. I imagine the night went something like this:

A young girl, around 14 years old was with her fiance. Perhaps it was a man she loved, perhaps someone she had only just met. The story leaves some details out. Mary was her name and she was pregnant. Hugely pregnant. She was only a young girl, on her tiny frame her stomach must have been so swollen she could hardly move. She had traveled for days, finally arriving at her destination, feet throbbing and head aching. She must have known the time for her child was near. Her pains coming closer and stronger. She must have been scared. How much worse that could only have gotten when she realized she had no where to go. The moment she was told she would give birth in a barn. Nothing but a dirt floor to lie on. Dirty and cold. No place for a baby, no place for the Savior of the world. She brought forth her child in a place that was barely fit for animals. And yet, when she looked at her precious baby, among the filth, among the confusion of not knowing why she was chosen, among the questions and doubts for the future, one thing was for sure. She loved Him. She must have known deep in her heart He wasn't truly hers, she could never "keep" him. And so she did what she could, she pondered the precious moments with him in her heart, saving them for a day when she would call upon her memories to see her child.

How many babies have I held in my arms born in a similar way? How many of them were brought into a world few can even imagine, in a place most of you would hesitate to banish your family pet. Dirt floors. Unstable walls. Born to mothers who were unsure of the future. Mothers who knew, deep down, the moments wouldn't last long. Full of love, sorrow and pride. Babies brought into a world that hurts. How those mothers must savor each and every second, how they must beg for more time.

I have held babies that were born in mere "barns" and I have watched them grow in the grace of a Savior, who knows their situation first hand. A God who understands.

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