At the bottom of the dusty track, there it lies. A shabby old building, with patched-up brickwork, barely resembling a stable. The urine-sodden hay. The manure-covered floor. And the manger, which just a few hours ago was brushed by the tail of the cow as it swatted the flies away.
But today this manger-turned-cot contains You. You, helpless babe.
No mattress. No decorative mobile swinging in the breeze, playing sweet lullabies above your head. No Pinterest-worthy prints on the wall. No sanitised Nativity.
You, who left behind your King-of-Kings existence. You, who became nothing.
Here you are. God in flesh.
Not God up there. Not God over there.
But God here. With us. Right now.
For me. For you.
And here You are.
God with us. God with me. God with you.
God with the man curled up in the doorway in town.
God with the seven-year-old, making her way to work in scorching heat.
God with the new parents, besotted by tiny toes and newborn scents.
God with the husband who just buried his wife.
God with the beaming girl who won her first race.
God with the mother, sheltering her children from nearby shelling.
God curled up in a manger. God stretched out wide on a cross.
God in our joy. God in our pain. God in our sorrow.
God with us.
God with me.
God with you.