“In the early morning I always walk my dog and I usually come down this road here on our way to Shelter Island to capture the early morning sunrise and the beauty of San Diego. . . If I’m focused on that, if I’m focused on my own things and walking my dog, I can sometimes miss things. What I have noticed over time are the people that I encounter along the way, even in the early morning. For example, you can miss it but this bush is not just a bush. If you look back in there you see pieces of cardboard, there’s a mattress and a canvas.
There are folks who make their bed here in the evenings and into the early mornings. And then just over here, between these two trees, I often see an older woman who is sleeping there, passing the night just out in the open. And several times I have run across on Shelter Island Drive, Paul who is a regular at the church center, he comes there for food and our worship.
God’s children, people who’re struggling, I think about them this Christmas. I think about Mary and Joseph making their way from Galilee to Bethlehem and I wonder how many people didn’t notice them. How many people just saw them and looked right through them. If we’re not careful with all the tinsel and the lights and all the gifts that we receive and give to those we know and love, we can miss other children of God in our midst.
So maybe our spiritual discipline this season is to pay attention to what is around us, pay attention to those who might need just a little bit more of our care and concern, and that can make all the difference. So blessings to you in Christmas, and be a blessing to those you might not otherwise see on the off, off chance that who you encounter was a carpenter and his pregnant wife and in so encountering them you, like those shepherds and the wise men, can join in the glory and join of that first birth.”
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