God can meet us in the most unexpected of places and times. The man who opened his stable for the couple looking for shelter and the shepherds in the field experienced this on that first Christmas.
Thereafter God continues to meet us unexpectedly at odd times and places daily. I, now uncomfortably,though with gratitude, realize that God tried to meet me often in my life, through good and not so good people, in joyful and painful moments, only to perhaps feel, “He came to His own and His own received Him not”.I was often like Pilate who having His Master in his presence did not recognize him; or like the Pharisees and the Scribes who chose to close their eyes and ears to God’s Love.
In the last over three years spent in Austria, where, as I then told my friends, that I was going for my ‘Desert Experience’, I have now begun to recognize the sparks of His Real Presence in my life. The kind of Presence that the stable owner; the shepherds in the field; the apostles; or the likes of Bartimaeus; the Samaritan or Syrophoencian woman; the lepers; the possessed man; and many others experienced.
The Baby in the manger gives us a glimpse into how far Love actually stoops and how wide its reach seeing Him stretching His arms on the Cross. Christmas reminds me that God never gets tired of trying to meet me in the most unexpected of places and times. For, “not that we loved God, but that he loved us”!
Despite the challenge of German language, the punishing winter, bland food and stents in heart, I continue to write my fortnightly columns on Christian spirituality, read by at least a million, if not more, people. It completes its nine years now. That makes for my more than a thousand articles in newspapers and magazines. I do miss India but the ‘Desert Experience’, offers its own delight.
While celebrating Christmas and New Year, I wish that you may continue to meet Him at unexpected of places and Times.
Merry Christmas and a fulfilling 2019!