The story is told of a young boy who went walking along a country lane with his father. As it often the way of things, the boy ran on ahead, exploring and enjoying the adventure. He came across a large stone in the middle of the lane, and with some effort he rolled the stone over. Underneath he discovered a huge colony of ants. He watched in fascination as the ants – aware of their new vulnerability without shelter, immediately began to move. The older ants formed a long line, some carrying food, the others carrying the younger ants who wouldn’t be able to keep up. As he watched them struggling the boy tried to help. He bent down and picked up a tiny ant to help move it along. However, he unintentionally squished the little creature between his fingers. He tried again, even more gently, but no matter how gently, the result was tragically the same. By this time his father had caught up with him. The boy turned to him, with tears in his eyes, and said: ‘If only I was the size of an ant…!’
God looked at us, struggling daily to try to cope, to carry our burdens. He knew that if he tried to help us directly, his power and majesty would be too much for us, and would end up hurting us. So He became one of us, took on our limitations, our weakness and vulnerability. It was from that place of vulnerability that he was able to carry us, to help us, to save us. From a baby in a feeding trough, to a broken body naked on a cross, God did something extraordinary, he shares our burdens, he understands our weakness and he carries us to safety. It’s the little things like you and me and every single human being that put God’s reason into this season of Hope and Joy.
Picture of miniature nativity in a walnut shell by Salvatore Barino