Tag Archives: father

Not so Holy Feeling

The remnants of sand and dirt felt crusty on Mary’s face from the long day’s journey and the ebb and flow of pain and sweat. The hard pain – the overwhelming stench – the crowds.  An hour from town there are tribes setting up camp everywhere.  How many more are crammed into this small town, Bethlehem?  The noise pounding in her head – the pains coming closer and closer. Oh, to just lie down.

Mary waited outside the inn for what seemed an eternity for Joseph to return.  His demeanor screamed as loud as Mary’s pain that he had failed.  There were no rooms.  The best he could provide was the privacy of the innkeeper’s barn.  A gentle touch on the shoulder from Joseph reminded Mary that he had done his best and was sorry it wasn’t better.  He wasn’t in charge of how the events of this night were unfolding.  The final steps to their accommodations were the worst on Mary’s swollen feet.

Joseph slid the barn door open only to gag from the disgusting odor.  Seems the barn was as full as the streets with visitors.  Asking one final thing of Mary, to wait in the fresher air outside while he found some straw and made bedding for her.  She submitted to her betrothed.  He didn’t sign up for this, but he certainly stepped up.

Together they slowly and gingerly walked in out of the cool night.  As he helped Mary lie down, she let out a scream from the pain.  Finally, free to let out the truth and anguish she felt.  The animals rustled and made noises like an out of tune orchestra.  Upon noticing their unexpected human guest, as if they knew who they were hosting, they laid down and became still.  As she settled in and became accustomed to the smells, sights and sounds.  She prayed.  God, we wanted better for your son.

It was a long and unfamiliar night for both Mary and Joseph; Mary too young to know much about birthing a child and Joseph too innocent.  Men didn’t get involved when a baby was coming.  But tonight was not about tradition or decorum – it was about changing the world – it was about hope and eternity colliding with all that humans thought was “normal”.  A new covenant squeezed into this night.

His birth wasn’t pretty.  Jesus joined humanity as a wiggly, slippery baby.  Mary was scared but led by what came instinctive and natural.  Joseph was awkwardly doing his best to provide blankets and a towel to wash the boy who would return the favor someday.

This night didn’t feel very holy, but it was real.  No airs or regal greeting parties for the King of Kings.  His mother felt the pains, his earthly father the helplessness, him the trauma every human baby in history feels during birth.  It was the heavenly Father who felt joy knowing He sent an invitation through Jesus. He knew he would get his son back and when He did, Jesus would bring all of the rest of His children.

The night was finally silent.  Mary could breathe without pain.  Joseph settled in next to his family. Mary-Film-The-Holy-Family For the first time since Genesis the world would be still and rest in the hope of Him who came to love, serve and save.

May every night of your coming days bring stillness, hope and peace in Jesus Christ.

Happy Birthday, Jesus.

KK

Be still Like Eli

sssshhhI’ve mentioned the many lessons our dog, Eli, has taught us in the three years he has been a part of our family.  He’s older and more mature now.  So are the lessons.  Several times a week before I start my work day I go in the living room and I sit for a few minutes of prayer.  The opportunist, Eli, comes with me and sits at my feet knowing a scratch behind the ears will be offered.

As I have my conversation with the Father and invite him to lead me through the day, Eli gets comfortable.  His head is up.  He is still and just looking around.  He is listening.  I’m sure he’s hearing things I don’t.

Watching Eli made me think; how often we do we just sit and listen? Imagine, being still and simply existing for a few minutes.  Breathe.  What would come to mind?  Would someone come to mind with whom you haven’t heard from in a long time?  What dream would you remember?  Would you make a decision you’ve been putting off?  Would you notice something about the room you are sitting in?  It’s a room you’ve been in a hundred times before.  Maybe, just maybe you will hear that still small voice answering your prayer, giving you guidance, leaving you with peace.

SSSSSHHHH,

kk

6 Things I’m grateful for – One at a Time – Number 1

sqeasy vegetable soupThanksgiving Soup

I’ve been thinking a lot about what todays grateful item would be.  Reading over the previous five I am hopeful that much more of what I’m thankful for has been woven throughout.  I didn’t want today’s post to be the typical things like faith, family and friends.  You did read those things into the other posts, right?  If not, here they are; I am very thankful for my faith the holds me steady, my family that always stands firm with me, and my friends who encourage me and add so much to my life.

Today’s post is what I like to call Thanksgiving soup – a bunch of little things that are full of goodness and laughter that come together to give great flavor to my world.  It’s the simplest of things and people I encounter each day.  Times and encounters that can’t be plan, Fate brings them together.  We need to be paying attention to catch them.

This morning I got up to watch the Macy’s Day Parade – a Thanksgiving tradition of mine for many years.  Jay got up with me and we enjoyed a cup of hot tea, the Rockettes, and marching bands from all over the country.  About half way through, Cole got up and joined us.  There the three of us snuggled on the couch, laughing and playfully enjoying some fun.   It is these moments I have grown old enough and wise enough to cherish in my heart.  You can’t trade them.

I won’t bore you with the hundreds of other examples of the simple pleasures in life for which I am thankful.  But I will encourage you to slow down enough to enjoy a few for yourself.

Happy Thanksgiving.

All the best,

KK

A Child Being Mistreated

sad childOk, what would you do? I was sitting in a fast food drive-thru, had paid for my food and was waiting. Just as they passed in front of me the “mother” grabbed the little girl by the back of her head and yanked her hair clearly mad at her for something. The little girl screamed and began to cry. I almost came out of my car to grab the mother’s hair to see how she liked it. The scene hurt me to the core. The mother let go and went into the restaurant with the “grandmother” and the son. I still wanted to go after the mother, but decided all that would do would cause a fight with the woman not resolving her heart issue.

I said a prayer of protection over the children and for God to deal with the mother. I watched as the father comforted the child and she settled down. As they walked in I noticed on the girl’s t-shirt the saying, “God is on our side.” May she always know that saying as true.

What would you have done?

KK

Consider Mary

starConsider Mary; young, outcast, weary of nine months of whispers as she passed the other women rather than motherly advice from her elders.  Did the hormonal swings make her think she was crazy?  With no book, What to Expect when Expecting to guide her, she prepared for her baby and our king.  Did she know how to count the weeks and months until the birth?  In her third trimester did she understand Braxton Hicks contractions?  Joseph had come back ready to love her through this, did she wonder if he would change his mind?  Knowing they would be traveling to Bethlehem, did she do any “nesting” like most mothers, preparing space and blankets for wrapping her new born?

Each year at Christmas as a mother, I am drawn to Mary and her point of view.  Nine months pregnant, more than likely swollen and uncomfortable riding on the back of a lumpy donkey, did she weep with fear of giving birth?

Or in her discomfort, fear and pain, did the God who chose her, carry her.  Did she find peace in the silence and feel His strength and confidence surround her?

Jesus didn’t just feel his humanity when he was older and being tempted in the desert, even during birth the babe experienced the trauma of the birth canal and his first sounds were that of his mother’s scream during delivery.  No doubt Jesus immediately felt the dramatic contrast from the warmth of a mother’s womb to the coldness of the world.

All births are miracles, if you are a mother, you can imagine Mary holding her child close to nestle him in the warmth of her arms.  While we may have held our children in wonder about who this little person is and what they will be when they are grown.  Mary held her son knowing his purpose but not fully understanding his impact.

Recovering from giving birth, Mary lay resting with her child snuggled close and a loving but shell-shocked Joseph trying very hard to make their surroundings more comfortable.

Taking a deep breath of contentment, the young mother, forgetting the nine-confusing months rested under the star that made the silent announcement that her son had arrived and the world would forever be changed.