long and white pieces to wear

This morning, as I was walking my dogs, I was struck by the ridiculous irony of this season of Advent. I live near Springs Rescue and walk the pups often on the Greenway trail as the trail head is a block from home. Everyday there are more and more tents and 'villages' popping up along the way. I have been met with kindness and hellos and 'like your dogs' as I make my way down the trail. Its as if I've just entered another part of the neighborhood, which in essence I have--a part hidden, mostly, by bare trees and rubbish, from the judgmental stares of those in cars making their way thru. This morning I watched as an older man shuffled up the path, led by a boy of no more than 4, wearing an oversized winter jacket and flannel pj's. They had just emerged from one of the villages and were met by a young woman who had clearly come form the mission garnishing hot drinks and perhaps a bite to eat. The little one ran to her arms and she immediately knelt down and hugged him and proceeded to zip up his coat before they worked their way back to their "house". I thought of how may times in my life I have done the same with my children--knelt for an embrace and quick kiss, and to wipe their noses or zip their coats... I have no answers for this dilemma. But I at least wanted to share this and post what I wrote for our church's news letter this month. We are always looking for ways to fix things asap--and yet every year we are called to the same stinky, cold, and deserted stable. I think because that while we are still reminded of the constancy of the work, we are also reminded of the constancy of love revealed and the love we are to reveal. long and white pieces to wear