Into this world, this demented inn, in which there is absolutely no room for him at all, Christ has come uninvited. But because he cannot be at home in it – because he is out of place in it, and yet must be in it – his place is with those others who do not belong, who are rejected because they are regarded as weak; and with those who are discredited, who are denied the status of persons, and are tortured, exterminated. With those for whom there is no room, Christ is present in this world. He is mysteriously present in those for whom there seems to be nothing but the world at its worst.
~Thomas Merton from Watch for the Light
God makes us happy as only children can be happy.
God wants to always be with us, wherever we may be –
in our sin, in our suffering and death.
We are no longer alone;
God is with us.
We are no longer homeless;
a bit of the eternal home itself has moved unto us.
A Child in a foul stable,
Where the beasts feed and foam;
Only where He was homeless
Are you and I at home;
To the end of the way of the wandering star,
To the things that cannot be and that are,
To the place where God was homeless
And all men are at home.
~G.K. Chesterton from “The House of Christmas”
There have always been people living in boxes and tucked up against underpasses and under bridges. I’ve spent considerable time with those who come in from a bare existence outside when they are ill and need care, warmth and food. They would be offered a bed and protective shelter at discharge yet usually preferred to go back to the woods or street life they know, not trusting the gift of grace and mercy. They are so used to not belonging anywhere, they can’t imagine another way to live.
Homelessness has become an epidemic. Now we find tents lining urban sidewalks, and rundown RVs parked on streets with an attached generator. Cities are struggling to solve the dilemma of providing shelter for those who do want a different life, while moving those who don’t want to give up their piece of sidewalk.
We who have roofs over our heads are not so different, keeping our hearts safely out of God’s reach, preferring duct tape and baling twine to patch up our brokenness rather than accept His healing touch.
From our God, born homeless, comes a clear invitation to find home in Him. Rather than settling for a box and sleeping bag and tarps, there is a place built just for us, where we are safe and loved and wanted.
He wants to bring us home.
2 thoughts on “We Are No Longer Alone: With Others Who Do Not Belong”
God bless them, Emily.
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Thank you, dear Emily, for this beautiful reminder. We so badly need to remember and to do what we are able to do for the tragedy of the worldwide homeless families and individuals among us. They need to be visibly present to us in our minds and our souls this Christmas as never before — reminding us ALL (rich and poor alike) of their suffering and genocide and the many injustices by which they live with every single day of their tragic lives. We need to remember, too, that it was God our Father who sent His only Son to share our world with all of its cruelty and injustice to affirm that He loves us and remains with us to share our lives in all of our human tragedies and hopelessness. Jesus shared all of this misery for the time he assumed and shared our humanity — up to and including acceptance of His innocent shameful death charged as a criminal, splayed naked on a tree — a sign of His boundless love for us, a ‘forever’ gift — freely given by an innocent babe born in a haven for animals to innocent Son of God and death on a Cross….
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