Last year, Amy and I were getting the kids ready to go out the door for the Christmas Eve service at our church. We did the regular inspections- hair and teeth brushed, clothes clean and neat. Looking at my daughter, I saw she had on her boots- her favorite boots. She had been at the horse barn most of the day, and her boots were, shall we say, dirty. I said, “Lauren, no way! You cannot wear those boots.” I think she had been anticipating my objection, because she quickly responded with certainty that Jesus would like her boots because they were messy just like the stable where he was born.
She got to wear her boots.
It was a good reminder for me that when the Lord of the Universe decided to come down to earth to become one of us, he did not come in a fancy, sterile, or even protected kind of way. Instead, he entered into this life in one of the dirtiest places possible. His birth among the animals assures us that there will never be a situation too messy or desperate for him. In fact, maybe it is in the yuckiest places that we are most likely to find him.