"No Room in the Inn"

where to go when its too crowded

That's what the inn-keeper said when Joseph and Mary arrived too late in the evening.  So out to the cave-like stables they trotted.  This animal house was where they went when they were confronted with the reality that it was too crowded.   Where do you go when its too crowded, when there isn't room for you around the popular holiday social parties?  Have you ever showed up to a hipster hangout and felt out-of-place?  Or been to a party but felt more like an outsider looking in?

Two years ago I sat down and had a meal at Anahit's annual Christmas Tree lighting in GG Park with a mom, dad and little girl who were living in the Park. He had lost his job a couple months before neither of them had family--they had come through the foster care system. Their little girl was just precious. I don't remember anything else from Christmas two years ago--presents, meals, games--but I cannot forget the impact that couple had on me--their optimism, faith, gratitude. We prayed together. I got as much stuff together I could and then connected them with some housing opportunities. And I was reminded that the fortunate thing about finding yourself outside the inn is that that is where we all get connected--shepherds, wisemen, homeless, traveling merchants. And how that around the infancy of the incarnation we all discover how much we need each other and how much God wants us.