A light snow was falling and there was no wind. My car idled outside my kids’ school as I waited for them to emerge. It was two weeks before Christmas 1993 and nearly a year since my husband had been without a job. I’d already wrapped hand-me-down toys for the two younger kids – lifted from the older two’s toy trove from better days – as Christmas gifts. Wasn’t sure what we’d do for the older two.
In the hush of the falling snow, where every sound was muffled and indistinct, I felt alone. Forgotten. Unemployment is a very isolating phenomenon, on many levels. Christmas music played on the radio but those carols also seemed indistinct to me. A random thought poked me. I muttered it to my quiet Redeemer. “What the heck was that manger all about? Was a bed really too much to ask for?” And out of the strange silence, He spoke from that thin place stretched between Him and me. You are the manger, He said to me. You were cold and dark and empty. I came to the very center of your need. And I filled your need with Me. That’s what I do.
A different kind of hush fell as so much finally made sense. The manger wasn’t to keep the Infant King in obscurity. It had more to do with me than with Him. It’d been the perfect metaphorical place for God to invade, to slice through the membrane between Him and me, and make His home. And He was there still.
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