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Wednesday, December 05, 2018

On Killer Cows and Christmas Miracles

This beast passed us relatively peacefully as we walked around Chogoria.  But that morning, at the hospital Chapel, the Chaplain had preached with some wonder about the stable.  Not the cozy stable that we see on Christmas cards, with the peaceful candlelight glow, the one-of-each animal artfully arranged in restful and reverent poses.  No, he was a farmer like most Kenyans at heart. And he waxed eloquent about the danger of cows.

Cows tend to kick the bucket.  They don't always stand still.  They can be restless or stubborn or uncooperative.  They can spill the milk pail, they can stomp on your foot.  Or your baby.

So this chaplain was reminding us, not that it was unusual for a baby to be born in a shelter, but that it was amazing for that baby to be SAFE in the midst of cows.

I love seeing and hearing the Christmas story through another culture's eyes and ears. Yes, from minute one, Jesus was in a place of risk. More, much more, would come later with Herod and soldiers and genocide. But that night, in the dark, in a cave or shack full of cows (?) and sheep and goats, the point was that animals may not respect the space of a baby, and it was dicey.

Just a stark reminder that God came into the mud and breath of humanity in the most vulnerable way. 

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