A Further Look
I wanted to take a moment and give a further explanation of the poem "A Better Place."
Most of us, most of the time, picture the innkeeper as a "bad guy" who couldn't find room for a pregnant young girl and her betrothed in his inn, so instead he sent them to a horrible place, a stable.
But is that the way it really was?
I think one of the over riding themes of the poem is that we need to keep our eyes open -- that sometimes we need to look at biblical passages or even people in the world around us, with the eyes of grace. We may not always know all of the story. We may not always have all of the information. God does.
There is a twist to the poem that is so subtle, that it may only exist in my mind. I did write parts of this twist into the plot of the poem, but I wanted to take a moment and point to them. Did you notice that the younger daughter of the innkeeper and his wife is named Mary? She stands at the doorway, eyes wide open, listening to what they were saying (Luke 10:39). We don't know the name of the older sister from the poem, but we do know that she is carrying blankets, helping to make the young mother comfortable. I'll tell you that her name is Martha. The sister's mother is pregnant with a third child, who will be a son, and they will name his Lazarus.
The main idea of the poem is to help us to see another viewpoint of the innkeeper -- could he have been an agent of grace to a couple out on their own in a place that was not home? By having him presented as the father of children who will become friends of Jesus, we find that we want to meet him -- we like him already because he is the father of people we already know.
I don't write poetry. Have I said that before? Even as I say that, I know that I have written over 60 poems. Whether the poems are good or not, I do think that, when I am blessed, God spends some time with me, and we write them together.