January -- 2019
Frankie was just 1½ years old. And he was loved by everyone in the family in spite of his tendency to get into mischief. His antics kept the household always on alert. If Frankie wasn’t into pots and pans, he was into the fireplace or under the bed moving the dust bugs around or heading for the garage where there were really fun things. It had all started when he had just learned to walk. From the moment he could stand and hold on and move from chair to couch to table, he was a “going” machine.
So it was no surprise when a new kind of counterattack had to be imposed that would be a bit more stringent than “Frankie don’t” or “Frankie stop it.” Frankie was given a quiet time out. What this meant was that when his mischief exceeded certain limits, he was put into his crib and told to stay there and think about what he had done. Repentance was too big a word for Frankie, but it was a word certainly in the back of his parents’ minds.
So Christmas came and with it Grandma and Grandpa. When they arrived, Frankie was already doing his time out a bit. After a few greetings, Grandpa headed for the nursery to say “Hello” to Frankie. When Grandpa entered the room Frankie’s eyes lit up and he stood up and held out his arms for Grandpa to come and lift him up and give him a big hug, which is exactly what Grandpa did.
Just then Frankie’s mother entered the room and said to Grandpa that Frankie had gotten into mischief again and had to remain in his crib for a while to think the whole thing over. Grandpa needed to put Frankie down. Caught in this dilemma, Grandpa did not want to disappoint Frankie nor did he wish to go against the wishes of his daughter.
Grandpa put Frankie back down in the crib. Thinking it over, he quietly and quickly took off his shoes and crawled into the crib with Frankie. It was the most unique solution to the problem.
But then, on second thought, it was not unique. Is this not what God did to us some 2000 years ago when he came as a baby in a manger? God crawled into the crib of our living, knowing full well that we had been messing up the household of humanity, and established a loving relationship with us that would never weaken or go away.
[anonymous source with some updates from Nancy]