I discovered this painting in the small chapel of my church back in June.

Last Sunday I invited my son-in-law, Brad, in to see it with me. He and Dale, my son, are making an unexpected move from where they thought they would be for the next couple years -New York City- to Sewanee, Tennesee in January.

And I, having dreams of moving, know that 2015 holds more substantial change, most likely a physical move from the dwelling I have called home for 13 years.

Both of us stood looking at the picture.

Brad mentioned Mary, bending over her newborn son.

I mentioned the star- pointing to it, emphasizing the long tail, the position of it over the baby.

In our common places of uncertainty, we both continued to look at the stable.

A shelter for animals.

The birthplace for God’s son.

And a word that also means “firmly established.”


You knelt
beside me.

I felt your

I am just
a babe.

And you,
are my


Finding Room

Finding room.

Making room.

Giving yourself room.


She is heavy with child, riding a donkey, with no place to go.
The baby is coming, must come. Its pressure within her signals there can be no more waiting.
Inquiries are made.
No room.
No room.
No room.
She weeps, looking to heaven, gently rubbing her belly.
The journey has been so long.

An offering appears.
A stable. A barn. A place for animals to rest.
An unexpected opening.
The pains increase. She cries. She screams. She is not prepared. It is harder than she ever imagined.
The baby descends,
From heaven
to womb
to earth.

As his head crowns, he breaks her wide open.
He emerges.
She rests.
His first cry startles the animals.
She lifts him to her chest, cradling him.
She sees his face.
She smiles. It is love at first sight.

In that moment the stable becomes a room with no walls where she can see the heavens and the earth drawn together in their infinite beauty and grace.

Now she sees.
There is plenty of room.
So much room.
Within her heart.

An early Christmas present...the best kind.

An early Christmas present…the best kind.