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Our Neediness is a Nativity

My dear friend sent me an instagram post the other day: “Your neediness is a nativity.” Wow. That’s what my heart longs to hear. I know the need is real. Glory be to God that it can be a birth place!

Our poverty, our lack, our weakness, the cry of our heart, our deepest ache and need, our longing – this is the place where little Jesus wants to be born this Christmas. This is His manger. Our need, when opened to the Father, becomes the seat of glory, the throne of the living God, the crib for the newborn Christ Child.

And New Life arises. He makes my desert heart bloom! He is the Christmas rose taking root in the dark corners of my inner garden and blossoming in full crimson red, alive with passionate love and merciful tenderness.

Sometimes my prayer takes the form of Bob Wiley, in the movie What about Bob, when he is begging his psychologist for more time and attention: “Gimme, gimme, gimme, I need, I need!” Jesus is the one place where I can bring this depth of need with utter and complete nakedness, without any shame at all. In fact, He loves this place in me most. He’s smitten with it. It’s His greatest inroad and He longs to fill it.

Abba, we open to You the deep-down pining of our winter hearts. Come! Send Your Son shining into our need and make it a nativity, a stable of Presence. A manger of Love.

Listen to the beautiful song, Be Born in Me, by Francesca Battistelli:

“The Heart of God” by Victor Issa

Editor’s Note: As I pondered Marian’s post, I thought of the words of Servant of God, Elizabeth Leseur. After offering to God all her sorrow, weakness, dryness and inner darkness, she wrote, “I bind these things into a sheaf, Lord, and come humbly with the shepherds to lay it in the manger.”

Copyright 2022, Marian West

Marian West is a Catholic “heartist”, seeking to live the art of heart to heart in every encounter. She lives in Lancaster, PA, and is grateful to have recently opened a space called Marigold, offering the Grace of the healing arts. Marian is a modern dancer, vocal artist, licensed massage therapist and labor doula. In 2006, Marian received her B.A. in Dance from DeSales University and then received her massage training at the Swedish Institute in Manhattan in 2007. She served as a missionary with Heart’s Home in Brooklyn for 14 months, offering a presence of compassion to the abandoned, lonely, and suffering. Marian prays that the Blessed Mother be her heart, hands, movement, and melody to touch Christ’s broken body in our thirsting world.

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