Dec 252013

He was a handsome young man, with eyes the color of dark chocolate.  I held his head while others tended to his bleeding body.  Watched the heart monitor slow then stop.  Whispered to him while he died.  “He made some bad choices,” I was told.

Haven’t we all, I thought.

He had a son.  A toddler.  I remember wondering if this wasn’t an opportunity for his life to go differently.  Hoping for him to find a family that would love and nurture him like their very own.  One that would write a different script for his life.  A dozen years later I saw those same chocolate brown eyes staring back at me.  They were filled with anger.  Sadness.  Hopelessness.  There had been no family.  No mentor.  No neighbor.  No one to show him grace.  No one to tell him he was loved.  So I did – the best I could in the brief interaction we had.  It wasn’t smooth at all.  In fact, it was kind of awkward.

I don’t know if he really understood.  I don’t know if he felt how much I believe he is on the planet for a purpose greater than just surviving and winding up dead or in prison.  But what I DO know is that he needs to meet Jesus.  And that Jesus shows up in the most unlikely places.

In a barn.

In shelters.

And jails.

Foster homes.

And mental health hospitals.

In the houses of those who are poor and those who are poor in spirit.

I don’t know where he is today, but my prayer for him is that he knows that being a part of God’s family isn’t anything about blood and it is everything about relationship – about being thought of and worried about and prayed over and loved and valued.  It is EVERYTHING about the great light that came into the darkness so long ago.  Merry Christmas, brown eyes.

Christ's Birth In A Stable