“This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:12

Those who are truly in love want to know everything about their beloved and walk where their love has walked. So it is with our love of Christ. Our life experiences influence our perceptions, and 50 years ago, many North Carolina residents experienced a family farm with all kinds of animals. We did not need a trip to Israel to walk where Jesus walked. We simply played and spent the night in the barn. We slept peacefully on the warm hay, watching animals eat quietly from a plate, bowl, pail or manger, listening to the purr of a cat, the skittle of a mouse across the dirt floor and the squirting sounds from milking a cow. How unexplainable it is!

The way I see it, Jesus’ birth was not about “no place in the inn.” His birth was about, “the best place for God’s son.” It was the most peaceful time of His life and His birthplace was the most wonderfully chosen. Imagine your first experience with life being comforting sounds from many different animals and sweet, grainy smells from all kinds of feed. How wonderful to breathe and hear and feel loved by even the animals, comforted and secure, lulled to sleep by the lowing of cattle, cuddled in a soft bed of sweet-smelling hay.

The man who was born homeless in a barn, started life in the best of all places; in a dimly-lit paradise of peace, comforted by the softness of God’s creatures. Born homeless, to a homeless family. I am sure God’s only begotten son gratefully enjoyed the comfort of a barn more than once!

Karen Martin is homeless and disabled. She is a frequent guest at our fellowship meal on Wednesday nights. Having accepted Christ at age seven, she says, “I know His voice, how the three-in-one operates, and trust that all things work to His glory and my good.”