I’ve been working on a little Christmasy something that has required the involvement of some other people to be able to pull it off. I know they are just as busy as everyone else, especially at this time of year, so they probably didn’t need anything else on their plate; however, when I asked for their help there was no hesitation. They did what I asked, but then went beyond that to make sure I had everything I needed.

I love that.

There was a time when it seemed more the norm to go out of your way to help another person, when you not only met their request, but made sure their needs were met, too. Now the world has more of an every-man-for-himself sort of vibe, a can’t-be-bothered, figure-it-out-yourself-because-I’m-too-busy, can’t-you-see-I’ve-got-my-own-issues kind of party line, and we become more and more polarized in the process.

It’s sad.

From where I sit, I can see my little nativity scene. As I consider it, however, the player that I’m thinking of can’t be seen, and not because he was broken by little hands! He’s never included in the nativity scene, and is only implied in the story, but the scene, itself, would not have been possible if he hadn’t played his part so well.

The innkeeper was minding his own business that night, probably enjoying the fact that he had a full house. Business was good, and I’m sure he was kept hopping with the needs of all his guests. When the road-weary man with the concerned face showed up looking for a room, his very pregnant wife sitting uncomfortably on the back of an equally exhausted donkey, all that was required of him was an answer, and that answer was no.

No vacancy.

Every room in the place is booked.

Move along.

But he felt compassion flood his heart and he dared to get involved.

He led them out to his stable, cleared out a stall and filled it with fresh hay to make a comfortable bed, then dragged over a feeding trough – a manger – which he also cleaned out and filled. He likely brought them food and water, and took care of the needs of the donkey while they got settled. He didn’t have to go to any of that trouble, but because he did, the Savior of the world had a place to lay his head when He entered the world that night.

Sometimes it seems easier to say no. Really, who are we kidding? It IS often easier to say no to going above and beyond. But we never know how important our seemingly insignificant extra trouble may be to the person we are helping. It could make all the difference to their life in that moment.

It could make all the difference to the world for all eternity.


Help and give without expecting a return. You’ll never—I promise—regret it. Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we’re at our worst. Our Father is kind; you be kind. ~ Luke 6:36 MSG

And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. ~ Luke 2:7 ESV