He comes close.
To the least likely.
To odd balls, unaccepted because of holy obedience.
To smelly, messy, unapproachable and untouchable, He makes his bed right in the very makings of the mess.
To ones who no longer fit in their families or towns, He chose them.
To ones everyone is talking about. Ones who have "ruined their bright futures." Ones relegated to the fields. Ones spurred on by an interesting hunch and committed to following it.
Even to ones with no room for him, He still comes.
To empty-handed ones. To nobodies.
To ones less than, disappointed, plagued with waiting, desperate, dreams crushed, oppressed, heavy, heartbroken.
No descriptor or circumstance could convince Emmanuel that one wasn't worth His presence.
His first chosen company was the likes of these.
He came close. Womb close. Mama's arms close. Hay-filled trough close. To get to an unwed mother and shepherds whose stench begged people to keep their distance.
You deem your home, your life, yourself unqualified?
He sees an incredible party for which he's planned a remarkable entrance. Not a quick stop by, but moving in. Simply to remind you, moment by moment, who you are.
And for you to know who you are, for your soul to feel its worth, He needs to be close.
So He is. He shows up. Tonight. Everyday.
Emmanuel comes close.
And the ragamuffins are honored with the presence of the Holy of Holies.
And suddenly, we find that closeness makes the hardship bearable, the outcasting less tragic, the inconvenient inconsequential, the humility beautiful.
It embraces the frayed and ruined. The exhausted, the rejected, those with absolutely nothing to offer. Loves the loveless.
Because we need to be close to be loved.
Because that's the only way that we're changed.
Closeness doesn't require change in advance, but inevitably sets it into motion.
Diapers can't be changed from a distance.
Diapers demand contact.
So He put on one, to clean up yours.
His goal here wasn't being great, but coming close.
When your goal is greatness, it's probably not closeness. Being close leads to being known, and being known means revealing one's not-so-greatness.
But still, even knowing that, he came close.
He came close and called you worth it.
He made nobodies somebodies.
Because you were worthy of showing up for.
Your arms and your heart have been entrusted with the Savior.
Deemed an appropriate dwelling.
Let it happen. Even if you wonder why He'd come near, stop asking questions and soak up His closeness. Stop doubting if He could possibly even like you, ponder his evidenced love.
Being close changes us.
He has changed us.
But first and most, he's just with us.
He wants to always be with us.
So he came close.