Mary, homeless mothers, and the innkeeper

Tonight we remember a young mother two thousand years ago who had no bed nor shelter and gave birth to her son and laid him in a manger.

Tonight, I remember all of the homeless mothers who came to me seeking help this year–mothers who lived with their babies on the street, or in a car; mothers who were seeking help with rent so they could stay in their apartment; mothers who needed formula or diapers or food for themselves; mothers who needed help and hope.

And I remember all the times I said no–sometimes because I couldn’t help, sometimes because I was too busy to help, sometimes because I was too overwhelmed and couldn’t bear to hear another story or suffer heartbreak once again.

And I remember those times when I listened compassionately but inwardly condemned her for choices I assumed she’d made that brought her to our door.

I remember and inwardly today I cry because like the innkeeper, I said, “No room. No room.”