Saturday, December 20, 2014
The Innkeeper's Perspective
It's not fair. Outside of Judas, I must be the most maligned character in the whole Jesus story. Nothing positive is really said about me. Actually, nothing is said about me at all. What is written is an indirect slam and is known by all: "There was no room for them in the inn." That's it. Nothing more. No explanation. Nothing. So, all the world has read these words and concluded that the innkeeper in Bethlehem was a bad man.
It's just not so. The whole situation cannot be fairly summed up with so few words. No one seems to understand. No one wants to understand. Bethlehem is not a big place. It's not Jerusalem. Bethlehem has one inn and my wife and I can feed and sleep no more than a dozen. But, there was that one night we were full. Everyone was displaced because of the census. Even the place the two of us slept was rented. And that was the night that caused the whole world to look at me as a cold uncaring innkeeper.
It's just not so. And besides, I did not know that this man from Nazareth who came with his very pregnant wife would be talked about by everyone forever. I had no way of knowing that night that the boy born in my stable would die on a cross, get Himself raised from the dead, and be known as the One sent from God to save people like me and you from their sins. I know all that now, but its been 40 years. If I had known it then, I would have thrown out some of the bums who were paying customers and given them a place to sleep. But, as it was, the best I could do was a stall with some hay. Listen, I am no different than you. If you had been me then, what would you have done?