K. is a moveiner who recently moved to North/West Africa to live in one of the poorest countries in the world. Christmas looks very different in that context. She shares her reflections:
For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
There’s something about those who grow up in the dusty places.
The children whose feet were always caked in dirt.
Whose mothers constantly chastised them for tracking dust into the house.
Or whose floors were made of dust.
There’s something about people who grew up in the drought.
When there wasn’t enough.
Whose mothers were always harrowed by the pot that was never full enough.
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
There’s something about the ones who were never chased for their beauty.
The ones whom we love not because they are lovely.
He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
We run from pain.
We hide from grief.
When tragedy strikes we recoil.
As if a good God could not possibly be in those places.
But there’s something about those places.
There’s something about those who always grieve.
We despise their depression
We deem their brokenness weakness
But their tears form a beautiful lens through which they view the world
Just a bit differently
Just a bit more like Him.
Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
He took our grief and we hated Him.
He carried our pain
We berated him
Instead of gratitude our attitude
Was one of disgust.
Disdain for anything unpleasant.
Instead of accepting comfort
We felt uncomfortable.
Uncomfortable with a God who would leave complete comfort
To comfort a dying, mourning world.
Uncomfortable with light stepping into darkness
With ultimate power being wrapped in the weakness of an infant.
With divinity being born of a woman’s flesh.
But comfort is an idol our world can’t afford
Because our Lord
Showed us the only way
Passes through death.