Advent Day 23: December 24th
You Let Us In

Is there room? The words evoke the story of the inn and the turning away of a soon-to-be-born baby. But it is more. It's everything we don't let in: the family members we avoid, the body counts in foreign wars that don't matter to us, the humans we trivialize when they believe differently. We think of ourselves in glowing terms. But in reality, we have no room in our inns. In fact, we are much more innkeeper than weary traveler.

A friend told me of two women who asked to join her monthly group -- a gathering of women committed to supporting one another by sharing the stories of their lives. Letting in these two particular women wasn't simple. It changed everything, and the group felt the enormity of the effort.

One of the new members used a wheelchair, and that reality made it impossible for the group to continue meeting in homes as they had always done. In addition, her speech was extremely difficult for others to understand. But her companion, who had her own limitations, could understand perfectly. She'd been caring for this friend for almost forty years. She would be the translator. The circle did open, and the women were included. Several months later the new members came to my friend saying, "Thank you. You let us in." That simple declaration was the full force of who we could always be. It is that simple, and that difficult.

Is there room in my inn?

by Paula D'Arcy, Redbird Foundation
from the book: Daybreaks