Driving home after work, I was thinking about Jesus. Don't get excited, it doesn't often happen - to be honest, groceries are usually way farther forward in my mind than the Son of God. Still, 'tis the season.
It had just occurred to me that Jesus was born into a pretty brutal culture too.
Joseph and Mary must have lived in a rough world. I mean, could you imagine NOBODY giving up their room so you could give birth? It's bad enough that people don't give my very pregnant co-worker their seats on the c-train. Could you imagine begging people to let your wife in so that you wouldn't end up delivering her baby yourself, alone in a stable? They were homeless. They had no place to go, and nobody caring for them. They walked for days, Mary on the back of a donkey. Those things bray, they take off running randomly, they kick, they stink... not fun. But, they made it through okay. God was with them.
That's the world God chose to inhabit. And it's funny, but I keep finding Him in similar worlds. Today as I left the intox shelter, somebody yelled at me "Hey Merry Chrishmash and God f-ing bless you!" I turned to see a huge smile on the face of one of my patients, and I grinned and waved back.
Jesus came into this world, and joined it. God decided to be born a real human, flesh and blood, poop and manger. And I think that sometimes my patients get that way better than I do. They keep loving despite constantly being hurt by the world. They persevere in rough circumstances. And they pray to a God who gets it. This Christmas, I'm going to look to their example and trust in that God.