If I could materialize a dream I would share a warm meal with my new friends, the staff who tirelessly care for the residents, and exchange small trinkets of friendship. I would ask them what they thought of the incarnation of God, the Son putting on flesh to be with us.
I would hug, and laugh with the residents who walk the grounds. Eventually I would make my way to the upstairs room of golden haired boy (it grieves me that I don't recall his name) where he lays with Boris, Petra, and a little girl whose name I've also forgotten. Maybe I would take a book and read to them. Most likely I would do what they seem to like best, hold their hands, and sing.
But I can't be in Serbia this Christmas. So I pray and trust that Jesus is. I pray that Jesus visits this humble place, filled with the fragile of this world. I think places like Dom Veternik are where he loves to be, with the meek and mild, the small and childlike.
I'm thankful for the incarnation of all that's holy, Jesus putting on skin to be forever linked with humanity, humbly taking our cross and bearing a load too huge for our shoulders. I'm thankful not only for what Immanuel means for me but for the weak I can do so very little for. The Child's coming gives meaning and hope to their quiet lives of longing. Seen, loved, and known by a humble King, they are not forgotten.
This is my prayer for the 600 residents of Dom Veternik mental institution on Christmas:
O Zion, messenger of good news,
shout from the mountaintops!
Shout it louder, O Jerusalem.
Shout, and do not be afraid.
Tell the towns of Judah,
“Your God is coming!”
Yes, the Sovereign Lord is coming in power.
He will rule with a powerful arm.
See, he brings his reward with him as he comes.
He will feed his flock like a shepherd.
He will carry the lambs in his arms,
holding them close to his heart.
He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young.
In his kingdom, as he leads with power, Jesus is not unaware of his needy ones. I trust he will reward and gently carry those whose lot in life has been a heavy burden. Today I'm trusting the Shepherd who caries lambs close to his heart. What a God we worship! In our bounty and celebration let's not forget those living in great need.