Room for a Baby

Sometimes babies are born in the most unusual places: a subway station, the back seat of a taxi, the corner of a crowded restaurant.  We never know where a baby might choose to make his appearance into the world.

The pregnant mother makes all possible preparations, packs a little suitcase for her trip to the hospital, or lays out all that will be needed when the midwife arrives.  A little nursery is made ready, a place for the infant to lie safe and warm.  If there are available funds, colorful decorations are hung to attract the infant once his eyes are able to focus.

But all the time no one knows exactly when the baby will decide to be born—or how much in a hurry he will be to get here.  Sometimes the mother has no time to travel to the clinic or wait for the midwife.  She is not able to make the baby postpone his appearance but rather must cooperate with this child who is eager to become a citizen of this earthly kingdom.  Babies generally have their own time-table and will not be thwarted in their determination.

The godchild within us is indeed one of those with a birthing mind of its own.  We absolutely cannot predict when God will bring our transformed spirit into our conscious awareness.  It is God’s secret, meant to reinforce his design and determination to have his way, to act on his own time schedule.  And it matters not whether we have made any preparations at all.  In fact, our ability to make any preparations is highly unlikely.  This birth is God’s surprise for us, the best Christmas gift ever, whether it comes on December 25 or any of the other 364 days available.

Ann Glover O’Dell

18 December 2017

Where is Your Manger?

“Fear Not!  I bring you tidings of great joy!”—tidings too good not to be true—tidings all about you—tidings meant just for you.

“For unto you”—into you—within you—is waiting to be born this day right here in the city where you reside, in the home where you dwell, in this life where  you live—your new bring—the holy babe that is the essence of God—the God-in-you that is your soul—birthed forth into your consciousness.

For within you this very day is the God child you always were, waiting to be born unto you

“And this shall be a sign unto you: you shall find the babe!”  What assurance!  We shall find our babe—no hesitation, no trepidation, no uncertainty.  You shall find the babe—you, each of you, individually, shall find the babe—the babe that is you—the real you.  There is no question about the outcome ifif you want to find the babe—if you follow the signs to the manger.

You shall find the babe, wrapped in swaddling cloths, wrapped very carefully in very special swaddling cloths—the protective, nurturing bands made especially for newborns, for warmth and security, swaddling cloths that only you can provide, swaddling cloths that only you will know how to provide, swaddling cloths that will be  your top priority to provide for this new being which is the real you.

You shall find your babe lying in a manger.  Lying in a manger—a rough unfinished bin—an unswept stable—might we say the unredeemed depths of your being?  Lying in a manger—not just any manger—your manger, your rough bin, your unswept stable, your unsanctified depths.

And this will be a sign for you—you will find your babe lying in a manger—a place not far from here, in a place only you can find, in a place God is leading you to find, in a place you shall find.

Where is your manger?  Your rough bin? Your unswept stable?  Your unredeemed depths?  Just listen.  Listen and look with the ears and eyes of the heart.  Listen for the ache that stirs deep inside you, the longing to feel fulfilled, the yearning to be—to be glad just to be alive—to be free from anger, free from guilt—to be—a new being—fresh and whole and cleansed, to be real, to feel loved unconditionally.

Listen for the ache and go to that spot.  Listen for the message it has for you.  Heed its instructions and you will be led to the manger—your manger—where you shall find all you ever wanted to be—and more.

And then what happened in the story?  We’re told that those who went in search of the manger, after told by winged messengers not to fear, were transformed into laughing, dancing, shouting creatures who praised God for the miracle.  That miracle is you!

Ann Glover O’Dell

23 October 2011