The beds are assembled; the sheets lovingly washed and tucked gently into place. The floors are swept and mopped. The decorations carefully selected with intention. An empty picture frame is perched atop a nightstand awaiting to fulfill its purpose. A room crafted with so much meaning, holding hope and anticipating joy but also preparing to bear heartache. A room that has been been paced, been prayed over, had its pillows fluffed a million times and its one lamp turned on just a million more so that I can picture what the light will do to warm the room when a little person calls this room home.
Any mother who has prepared a nursery in the anticipation of bringing home a new baby knows this feeling. How many times do you stand in that room, looking around at four walls and dreaming of the day that you will bring home the sweet soul that you carry? A father who puts together the crib or hangs the decorations on the walls at the direction of his wife also experiences this.
It's paint on the walls, its a lamp in the corner, it's curtains over the windows. It's a crib, a changing table, and rocking chair. But each solid and visual piece of the room helps us to wrap our mind around the fact that life is about to change. A new soul is coming into the world. A precious gift from God will soon be ours to fall in love with.
There is something spiritual in this process, something instinctual. "Nesting" comes from somewhere inside, a holy place where your heart of hearts resides. After all, we are welcoming something of heaven into our place on earth; we desperately need everything to be perfect.
Today as I stood in that room that we have prepared for the children we are waiting to foster, a profound thought saddened me. Jesus, Son of Man, had no place to lay his head (Luke 9:58). His mother Mary was deprived this sacred opportunity to prepare a place for her son.
Luke 2 "2 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.
4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them."
Jesus, The Christ--my Christ, was placed in a manger. A trough that livestock ate out of! there was no room for the Messiah, our GOD. We know of this story. We've heard it a thousand times and let those words wash over us meaninglessly. This baby was both fully God and yet fully man, and came into this world in such humility and poverty.
Oh Mary, no wonder you found favor with God. You trusted Him so that you rode to Bethlehem with grace and dignity on a humble donkey, with a heart full of who God said you were and not what others must have thought of you. You were pure and holy and brave. All the time you knew Who you carried. You treasured Him in your heart. How much more would you have wanted to prepare a proper place for you baby to rest than I? Even I have the opportunity to hope and make ready for my babies and not even MY SAVIOR was afforded that comfort.
Oh, Jesus. You are so holy and awesome.
"Today in the City of David a Savior has been born to you. He is Christ the Lord! And this will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger" (Luke 2:11-12).
In an instant this evening, I pondered these things, saddened and humbled by their truth. The room I stood in is lovingly prepared and awaiting the arrival of children that I don't even know. Mary KNEW the magnitude of WHO she was to bring into the world, who would have no place to lay His head... Then my Spirit within me spoke softly:
"Truly I tell you, whatever you [do] for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you [do] for me." Matthew 25:40
Yes, Lord. I treasure that. Whatever I do for these children, oh Jesus, I do for you.
Special Education Teacher (Snyder, TX)