According to a 2012 report by National Alliance to End Homelessness, on any given night, over 636,000 people in the United States are homeless. 37% of these individuals are members of homeless families. That’s over one third.
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered. And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.” Luke 2:4-7
Over the past twelve years, we’ve had over 500 women live in our homes, many of them a part of that statistic. They come to us poor, abandoned, and homeless, with devastating stories. It’s a surprising parallel that on the most momentous night of history depicted above, we have a young mother left with virtually nothing: no shelter, and no place to lay her child. In this way, our moms’ stories mimic the birth that saved the world. Here is great beauty.
Christ’s poverty on that holy night can teach us many things, but I find it remarkable that in his first moments, he remembered the homeless. The man sleeping on the church steps, the single mom staying at an emergency shelter, the elderly fellow I saw digging out of the dumpster this morning.
Christ will always be with the poor, and he will always love in a special way the women and children at Maggie’s Place. How grateful we are to celebrate Christmas with his people. And thanks to your support throughout the year, these families have hope for the future: a life of stability, security, and love. What a beautiful Christmas gift!