The ride to the hotel was quite adventurous. Emeth, being the well-protected American toddler, was for the first time in his life riding in a vehicle without a carseat. He sat in my lap, asleep, while the driver raced through small crooked streets without any signpost indicating that he needed to slow down. The local children continued to play, just inches away from speeding vehicles.
We were then directed to our hotel room for the week. I was curious to see what we've invested in. After all, we haven't spent money on vacation since our honeymoon.
The room was pretty. There was enough light, fairly clean. Another armchair would be nice, we thought. I was not impressed by the bathroom, however. I cringed at the thought of Emeth taking a bath in this bathtub. Definitely unlickable.
That night, I read the story of Jesus' birth to Emeth from The Big Picture Story Bible.
He had a favorite page that night. He made me read it at least twenty times. And many more times throughout the week. I have it memorized.
"But in this crowded city,His little finger pointed at the hotel, and his voice echoed mine as I read:
where would this special baby be born?
In a nice, big home?
No, not in a nice big home.
In a clean hotel hotel?
No, not in a clean hotel."
No, not in a clean hotel.
"God's forever king was bornLord, please give me a listening heart, one that can be taught by a toddler.
in a stable, a place for animals."
Jesus likely did not have a carseat or disinfected bathtub. No, not even a crib.
The reminder was gentle. The effect, however, was a little humiliating. I needed to stop pretending like I was writing a review for some vacationers' website.
We did not invest in a vacation.
We are called to be light.
To be grateful.
We are called to love our neighbors.
To honor family.
To celebrate the marriage of our cousins.
To be aware of the poverty of humanity,
the poverty that is right outside the resort,
the poverty of our own hearts.
To be in awe of the vastness of the ocean, the height of the heavens.
So, we stood by the waves, played in the sand, and kissed a dolphin. The week was grand indeed.