Be A Manger
From the poetry of Susan Stabile...
This Christmas I pray for you that you will be a manger.
I pray that you will be empty—
Empty of all the clutter and distraction of life,
Empty to receive the newborn Christ.
I pray that you will be sturdy—
Sturdy to bear your personal and secret burdens,
Sturdy to bear the presence of God within.
I pray that you will be soft inside—
Soft inside for the healing embrace of yourself & others,
Soft inside to give God a place in peace.
I pray that you will be still—
Still to attend to the cry of the poor
Still to attend to the whisper of God’s prompting voice.
I pray that you will be ready—
Ready to receive whatever God’s gifts for you,
Ready to use your gifts for whatever God’s call to you.
This Christmas I pray for you—
That you will be a manger.
How to be a manger, that lowly place that first welcomed Jesus?
Be soft inside.
Or, to paraphrase St. Francis de Sales: Be gentle and strong.