No Room in the City

In the church world this time of year we tell a story of a pregnant woman and her fiancé traveling to be counted for a state-mandated census. They arrive in Bethlehem and find that there is nowhere for them to stay. And so, they stay in the barn and that is where she has her baby. (Spoiler alert: the baby is Jesus.)

This year, I hear that story and I think of the city of Mountain View and all the people who have come to this area and have no place to stay. Mountain View has hundreds of people who live in their cars and RVs. These vehicle residents are just people trying to make it in this place where the cost of living is sky-high. And the city has made some strides to give them a place to stay, but it still feels in some ways like they’re being told, “Sorry. There isn’t room for you here.”

I don’t have a solution. And I don’t think it’s something we’re going to legislate our way out of. But I do think it matters that we see each other, hear each other, and eat together. And so that’s what we will be doing. Gathering every week, sitting at the table with people who live in fancy houses or shelters or cars or RVs or apartments or duplexes. Sharing the stories of our lives and finding ways to do this life together. We’re going to do all that we can to make sure we’re always telling each other that there’s room. Always room.

In Community,