advent week 2: love

sketches for a christmas ornament

This is the irrational season
Where love blooms bright and wild.
Had Mary been filled with reason
There’d have been no room for the child.
—Madeleine L’Engle

I am disheartened by the room that we are failing to leave for the child.

It’s Advent for goodness sake and I’ve heard nothing but vitriol and swagger from politicians and celebrities and—most heartbreakingly and frustratingly—religious leaders. Their blustering rhetoric has taken up all the space in the inn, forcing Christ out into the stable.

I suppose he’s used to it. Isn’t that, in some ways, the story of his life? From beginning to end, no one made room for him. The innkeepers took no pity on his mother, a woman obviously in labor. The other guests didn’t want to give up their rooms or disrupt their sleep. Everyone was too comfortable, too scared, too scornful to make room for Jesus.

christmas ornament brainstorming

Now imagine if Mary had felt the same way. If Mary had been filled with reason—or fear or hatred or bravado or any number of the other things that fill us these days—there’d have been no room for the child.

Bless you, Mary, for being filled with love. Bless you for your hospitality of the most intimate kind. Woman, you opened your body to a child. You submitted to nine months of the discomfort that comes from sharing your abdomen with another being. And then you gave your life over to being his mother. Thank you for your irrational love, which allowed Love himself to enter the world.

linocut christmas ornaments

Before falling asleep last night, I read through my journal from earlier this year—from the months we were trying to conceive and the early months of pregnancy. Like Mary, we were not filled with reason. We had no idea what we were asking for (nor, frankly, do we now). We didn’t take into account the financial cost of raising a child, nor did we consider what an imposition she’d be on our relatively smooth life.

Instead, we were filled with bright-blooming, wild love.

My prayer is that the irrational season will overwhelm our nation. That we will let love do what it does: bloom brightly. That we will take the risk of making room.

[During Advent this year, my friend Matt and I are posting weekly on the season’s common themes: hope, love, joy, and peace. You can read Matt’s second post at Pillar of Cloud.]

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4 thoughts on “advent week 2: love

  1. Yes!!!!! I love this! I love your words, Grace. You will make room. I will make room. Christ will inhabit every heart that makes room. Love you!

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