A couple of days after Christmas, I went caroling with a group of young adults at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring. Though I was exhausted after all of the singing, it was the most beautiful Christmas scene I had witnessed so far this year.
As our group walked up and down the halls of the hospital, every now and then we would see people open their doors and peek out to see where the music was coming from. Looking in the rooms at the faces greeting us, I was struck by the diversity of people who found themselves in that hospital the week of Christmas.
We saw smiling mothers holding their newborn babies and older patients being cared for by their grown children. We saw some kids who shyly stepped out into the hall, and some who weren't afraid to start dancing. We saw faces of all different colors and ages that seemed united in the joy of hearing the Christmas carols fill the halls.
Each of these patients did what we were all supposed to be doing during Advent and Christmas: they quite literally opened the doors to let Jesus in (or at least to let our singing about Him in). Some of them were in the middle of the most joyful time of their life, and some of them were in the midst of a more difficult season. I am guessing none of them felt like they were looking their best in that moment.
I felt privileged to be invited into those moments in those people's lives, even if only for a second. I imagine that Jesus feels the same way when we invite him into our lives, whether we are young or old; happy or sad; in our Church dress or in our hospital gown.
For the rest of the Christmas season, I am going to try to remember those faces and invite Jesus into all aspects of my life - even those that I might be a little embarrassed about.