December 23, 2007
Is 9:1-6, 10
An Unlikely Manager Scene
I have to admit that if I take into consideration who I am with my sensitive nose, my dislike for the cold, my standoffishness for expected strangers asking me for things, I might not have found myself at the site of the birth of Christ. The great thing for people like myself is that I have opportunities to meet the Christ light which we celebrate at Christmas in all kinds of places. One of the places where the Christmas story becomes alive for me is when I go and visit Kevin.
The other day I sat on Kevin’s couch and listened as he named all the ways that he had been blessed this holiday season. He talked about everything from the friend who checked in on him when he was sick with a bad infection to special Christmas soup his cousin brought him on Christmas Eve. I have sat on this couch many times and in recent weeks I have heard a lot about the challenges in his life. However on this day I found myself at the manger scene experiencing the choirs of angels singing, the unlikely place of a manager being the site of the birth of a Savior, and tearing up as he described the way the Christ light filled his life.
He lives in a small community of individuals’ whose generosity to each other can be seen in sharing hot dishes, checking on each other’s health, sharing each other’s wheel chairs, and offering support at times of struggle. I have been invited into the stories both as a hearer and as one asked to pray for the neighbor next door struggling with issues of abuse, the woman living near the parking lot who is back to work for the first time since her mother died and the grandchild who is trying to find God in the midst of turmoil.
Yet, sitting on the couch listening to Kevin I am distanced from my own qualities that might be tempted to keep the power of the Christmas story from my everyday life. In the story of love and compassion alive and well in Kevin’s low income community I am freed from my own barriers to encounter this Holy Light.