Reflecting on the Christmas story seems a natural enterprise this time of the year, right? Well, I've been doing that this week.
One of the really human parts of the story relates to housing or, better, lodging. Joseph attempts in vain to secure decent lodging for his young wife on the very night of her delivery. While I can't relate to exactly that circumstance, I can relate to failed attempts at securing timely lodging in a decent location on road trips.
Anyone else with "horror stories" about roadside inns?
I get what must have been a combination of frustration, anxiety and fatigue, mixed with a little fear and apprehension on the part of both Joseph and Mary.
As I pondered the young couple's dilemma, along with the overall circumstance of their compromised reputations related to the child Mary carried, my mind jumped to our housing endeavors aimed to bring homeless persons inside a home, a longer term inn with room to spare on a permanent basis, at least for those who secure one of the 300+ units available.
Having no place to live, to stay, to call home is a tough deal shared by far too many men, women and children in Dallas, and across the nation.
In the midst of these thoughts I received an email message (copied in part below) from Jenny Fogel, a member of our development team, reporting on the Christmas party shared by all the residents of our building at 511 N. Akard:
The CityWalk Christmas party was incredible. Last night wasn’t just a grouping of people in a room who all happen to live in the same building. It was a family. The sense of community was incredible—our neighbors really know each other. And they really know us. There was so much light and so much love in that room.
I know that this building was a seemingly endless series of frustrations and obstacles, and there are of course still some things that need to be ironed out. But please just know that it was all worth it.
Of course, the story of Joseph and Mary involves a lot more than finding a place to stay. But Jesus entered our world from the stable Joseph managed to secure for that special night. I find it easy to believe and to observe that Jesus continues to enter our world through and in the context of the housing secured for the very poor in developments like CityWalk@ Akard.