Matthew 8:20 – And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. (KJV)
My aunt had a most beautiful, big Christmas cactus which filled her round dining room table. In early September, the rich, deep green cactus began budding and bursting into beautiful pink flowers, which bloomed right through Christmas and into the New Year. It was huge!
As rich, beautiful, and bountiful as the Christmas cactus was, she felt it was in the way. It had to be moved every time she had someone to dinner, and it just became too cumbersome for her, so she decided to get rid of it. I was among some to whom it was offered, but again, as beautiful as it was, and as much as that part of me, which would dearly like to have it, wanted it, I didn't really have an appropriate place for it either.
We lived quite a distance from each other, so it was a month from the first time it was offered until the next time we were together, and this time, having no other takers, she insisted it come home with me.
It completely filled the trunk of our car, and I felt a certain sorrow for the almost homeless cactus as I mentally raced through my mind's rolodex to find someone whom I might possibly grace with this gift.
Once home, I re-arranged some of my plants and fit the cactus nicely in a corner, surrounded by several other plants. At least the cactus had a home until such time as a more permanent one could be found.
After several inquiries, including the church and a charitable organization to which I belong, the answer was always the same: "No thank you. We have no room for it." It was also evident that no one really wanted to care for it either, and so it continues to grace my home, and we are the richer for it.
I could not help but see a comparison between the Christmas cactus and the Christmas story. Here was something freely given, something rich and beautiful, something that would enhance any place graced with its presence, and yet it was deemed to be too much trouble and not wanted by anyone.
We must not ever forget that our greatest gift, our most precious gift, Jesus, the Son of God, given to us freely, was turned away time and again because there was "No Room".
Prayer: Father, as with that first Christmas night, may we open our hearts to the homeless: "man or beast". If we are unable to physically bring them home, may we contribute to their finding a safe haven, a shelter, a home. May we make this our priority in our list of Christmas gifts. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
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