I have been a Christian for a lot of years now. And I cannot count how many times I have read the Christmas story. But for some reason, this year, I have been completely undone by the story of the birth of our Savior. I have found myself meditating on why...why did He do it this way? Why was Jesus born in obscurity, in hiddeness, to poor young parents away from their home? Why was Mary alone having her first child? Why did the angels appear to shepherds - the lowest of all Jewish society at that time - why did they sing their praises to them? Why not announce the birth of our Savior to the religious leaders or the king or over at least, populated areas so that everyone would know that Jesus, the Messiah, was born? And what does that say about God's heart? What does it say about the poor? I think it says that God honors the poor and weak; that the things we count important - riches, fame, and recognition - are not all that important to Him.
Every week as we go up to Chiminisijuan, we pass the shepherds. They are usually young people or women who spend their entire day following after their animals. They do not go to school. They are alone all day, without recognition. It does not matter how cold or rainy it may be, they are there caring for animals. What do they think about all day? I can only imagine how amazing it would be for a host of angels to appear to them....singing praises to God.
May you find time today, in the midst of all the busyness, to rejoice with the angels who are still saying "Glory to God in the highest!" (Luke 2:14)
Juanita is a four year old in our nutrition program. She has cerebral palsy. We see many children like her, often due to home deliveries gone bad. She (as all of the children like her) has a special place in my heart. They are normal little people, with normal intelligence and emotions but trapped in a body which will not cooperate. Often times, they are mistaken as unintelligent because of their inability to communicate. But when Juanita comes in she smiles and says "leche" (milk). She cannot sit or even hold her head up and she is getting heavy now for mom to carry her in every two weeks. Fortunately for Juanita, her mom has not yet had another baby. There is very little help for children like her...no therapy close by, no wheelchairs (yet....we are working on it). Because these children cannot contribute or help with the workload of the family, most often they are left lying on the dirt floor in a corner of the house, alone much of the day. They are truly one of the "least of these little brothers of Mine." (Matthew 25:40)
One of our goals for the coming year is to get a group of physical/occupational therapists together who are willing to come once a year. If we could get 12 therapists, we could ask them to work once a month with each of these children, in each of our clinics. We are asking the Lord to touch the hearts of those who have the expertise and knowledge to help these little ones.
I am pretty sure that the Lord looks on us in the same way that He looks at these children. He is able to see past our weaknesses and failures. He sees our potential, not our handicaps. "Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God." 2 Corinthians 3:5.