I remember the moment that I realized just how lowly the circumstances of Christ's birth had been.
I was teaching children ages 3 to 8 this song called Once Within a Lowly Stable, the lyrics of which go like this:
Once Within a Lowly Stable
Where the Sheep and Oxen Lay.
Now, I had seen the creche scenes my entire life, and of course seen the animals. However, it had not clicked until that moment, that there were animals present AT THE BIRTH. I started imagining the animals, and all that went with them: bugs of all sizes, mice, pee, poop, food, snot, fur, hairs, smells....and I was completely horrified.
Then I started to imagine what the birth would have been like at the inn, and even that didn't seem ideal for me, and I was not giving birth to a Savior (I wasn't pregnant for that matter, but this was my state of mind). I then pictured the sterile and sanitized (we hope) hospital, and compared that to giving birth in a barn, and that is when I realized just how lowly the circumstances had beeen.
I was completely in awe. It seemed all wrong, and then all right the very next moment. I tried to picture the birth in the inn, in a tent, at the hospital, in a cart pulled by a donkey, everything and anything that might apply, and no, it just seemed exactly right that it occurred where it did. I was extremely humbled by this, and had never felt as connected to the story as I did in that moment. I am so grateful that I experienced it, and through the singing of children as well...what a blessing it was for me at the time, and continues to be today. Merry Christmas.