While cleaning and tossing papers, I came upon this meditation, which I think I must have written for Advent several years ago. Ok it is past due for Advent & Christmas, but really, can't we all be better inn keepers through out the year?
Often when I read the Christmas Story, I try to imagine what it was like to be one of the people involved. This year I started thinking about the innkeeper who turned Joseph and Mary away. Here was this business owner, tired from a long day of work, his inn bursting at the seams and he unwittingly turned away the Messiah.
I wonder how many times I have done the same thing?
On days when I have been tired, would it have cost me much to have made that extra effort to pick up the phone and check on a friend having a hard time? Could I have let one more person into my life? Prayed an extra prayer? Spoken a kind word just because someone needed to hear that they were OK just as they were?
How many times have I been the innkeeper of my heart? Who have I turned away not realize they are the Christ? Was he the homeless man wanting a quarter? The African American kid selling candy bars for his school? The gay couple sitting next to me in church that I didn't introduce myself to? The wealthy person I just assumed is a conservative jerk because of the shoes he was wearing?
What happens when I look at the exterior appearances and not seek to see the souls of those I meet?
I turn away the Christ as surely as the innkeeper turned away the Holy Family.
This season my prayer is that i make more room, giving up my own comfort and complacency so that I can take in the stranger or friend that might reveal the Christ within themselves to me.