it was cold that night, and dark.
there were no rooms and people were rude. they were lost, lonely and scared.
on a bed of straw, huddled near livestock. not the ideal way to bring a savior to the world. not the ideal place for anything, really. the birth was flawed, riddled with unexpected setbacks, disappointments and heavy-hearted fatigue. in an age where lead-based paint is feared, the floor of a barn seems an unimaginable substitute for a hospital. but for all its human shortcomings, what a divine, precious perfection. it was real, hay bales and all. the face staring back a marriage of the human and the holy. yes, it was not quite as imagined, but in its very essence, the realness, the grit and dirt and sweat of Jesus' birth is what makes it endearing, special and sacred.
i find comfort in that. in the realization that God wants the soil of our lives, the grimy undercore of our souls, to plant the seed of faith. life is messy and tragic and altogether hard sometimes, but it's also so blessedly beautiful.
we took christmas pictures on sunday. from the moment i slipped on my dress, it just felt wrong. it was windy. and cold. and pablo was preoccupied with the cat running behind the deck. my hair was laying weird and i picked my skirt on the wooden bench. we argued about dog placement and portrait vs. landscape. about self timer length and background location. seven pictures later, we settled on a semi-focused, semi-centered one that will suffice, and ordered thirty.
this picture sort of sums it all up. we were frustrated, ill and tired with each other. i was tempted to send these out as the final picture, a nice detour from the typical, posed shots that line our fridge.
because this picture represents real life. it was not ideal. actually, nothing went according to plan. but it was real and honest and rooted in love. and in the end, the chaos gave way to beauty. much like that birth, i suppose.