Last week in my women's Bible study group, we talked about the role of the manger in the Christmas story. I had included a short poem in my December ezine, which had just been distributed the day before my group met. So we read that poem (by poet Barbara S. Germiat) in class. Here it is:
How to be a Manger
Be soft on the inside.
After we read it, someone suggested that, in the week until our next class, we find ways to "be a manger." What a fascinating assignment.
Already, I have found opportunities to listen to others as they share a painful story, a source of ongoing frustration, or a story of loss. I practiced being empty—just listening and being present as witness to someone else's life. It's been a reminder to me that most times when people share, they don't want or need advice. They need to be heard and validated. They need to be accepted and loved. They need us to "be a manger." Empty, still and ready.
Is this something you'd like to take on this season, too?