- Joseph Uysetuan () - April 2, 2006 - 12:00am
THE EXCITED STORK got all chicly plumaged because it was going to make another visit. But it got baffled when it was instructed to fly to a stable. Anyway, under the guide of a star, it made its way there. At the barn, our bird had to grab a manger, ask the mother to lay down on the hay, and coach a Baby Boy to slither out.

Later on, Mrs. Stork learned that it had to make the delivery there because there was no more room in the inn. To heck with the plumaging up; the stable and the dung smelled. Stork fluttered its wings as it was party to an hallelujah event with angels singing hosannas, the Magi kneeling as sponsors and the agog shepherds witnessing. Well, the happy story bears as well a message that we should all hearken - "No room in the inn."

I suppose the words were uttered politely by the innkeeper as a casual remark. Maybe in this way, "I'm sorry, people, but there's no more room in the inn." Today, the sense of the incapability to provide accommodation has transpired to a good deal of food for thought. We have second thoughts of it. We want to put it away. We want to make up for it. We have these feelings because we are haunted by the inhospitality, remorse and guilt among us.

There are many places other than the inn that we can make room for. There are several ways to accommodate no matter how much of a standing room it is. There are unlimited spaces to prepare room, as long as we are willing to share them.

An inn may be big or small, may have many or few rooms, may look beautiful outside but plain inside; or rough outside but elegant inside. There is a place in us that is just like it. Yes, it's the heart. An inn may boast of a thousand rooms but the heart is definitely roomier than that. As in the inn, the heart may look inviting but is insincere: may be wild but loving. People handling it are either big-hearted or Scrooge-hearted. The kind-hearted ones open a room while the hard-hearted slam the door.

One who has no heart has no room in it, naturally. The heart is supposed to have room for a loved one, a hapless friend or even a stranger. Our heart should be like Jesus' - open for everybody. He even knocks at ours either to have us to let Him in or to ask us to drop by His. His is open all the time. Never, never for anything will He say, "I'm sorry, my child, but there's no more room in heaven." Even though how bad we are.

Heaven is the biggest inn in all the galactic kingdoms. Our humble, caring, gracious Innkeeper wants us all up there. There is plenty of space for everybody. We have a reservation there, as well. Getting there needs no passport. One way to ensure the trip is to do away with the excuse of "no room in the inn." On the contrary, we should display the showroom of welcome.

We can always sense the warmth of a thrown-open heart. It rolls out the red carpet to let us feel at home. There is even adequate room in there for a multitude. In a cold heart, there is no beat, no feel, no glow - much more, room. This kind only knows how to throw out people, ranting: beat it, bah or to heck! There is but an empty, gloomy, dusty room inside. Between these two hearts is marked a line separating those with open arms and those with shut doors.

Whichever side we stand, we can't help but remain selective. We cannot go freely picking up any loved one, friend or stranger. Certainly, everything will be swell if we are not choosy. But, we should also consider that if we are the said characters, we should merit ourselves of trustworthiness, sincerity and virtuousness worthy of anyone. Then everything will arrive at love, peace and goodwill. No one will ever be a stranger. No one will ever be left out. And room will be plentiful everywhere - in the inn, in the heart, in heaven. There will be sure room in an all-out embrace, in a full circle of love, in an overcrowded church.

Fret not, my friend, even if we are lost souls, heaven's gate is still open for us. We can make it. Heaven loves those who atone, rebuild, soul-search. The Shepherd searches for the one lost sheep than watch over the ninety-nine. Heaven fetes the prodigal son with a fatted calf raised by the good son. So, snap out of it. There is spacious room up there for all of us. God will all the same help us get there. Just abide in Him. Let's go back to the innkeeper who started all this. I suppose he had knowledge of the events following his missed blessings. He must have muttered, "If only I knew, I would've given my room and everything to Him." Well, we know. (Pause). Please, let us not say we have no room in our heart for Him. He's tapping at it. Surely, He means to give us room in heaven - in exchange.

I suppose, too, the innkeeper woke up one day to find a door swung open to him. To the jolt of his life, Jesus was standing there by the door. Because of his repentance, sincerity and belief, the innkeeper was accorded a spot in heaven. Just have faith like his or that of one of the felons by His side in Calvary. The thief asked to be remembered in heaven and Jesus granted it to him right there and then. No room in heaven?

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