In a former profession I was a hotel manager. That has caused me to wonder about the man who was in charge on the night when “there was no room at the inn.” Ironically, there were times in my career when I faced similar problems and they happened on December 24th and 25th in 1973, mirroring the plight of the Innkeeper.
I was the night manager of the Del Mar Inn, an 81-room place. Every hotel in San Diego County was full. I knew this because we hotel people talked to each other.
Around midnight, a business man, who lived in Lake Arrowhead, came in. It had snowed heavily there and the roads were closed. He was “snowed down” the mountain. My hotel was full, but there was a couch in the lobby which he gladly accepted as his own bed that night.
What did the Innkeeper of Bethlehem think? He would have been financially happy that the inn was full. Then Joseph and his very pregnant Mary showed up. Part of him probably considered their arrival as a potential for extra revenue. The other part must have been concerned. What can I do to help these poor young people? So did he charge them for that night in the stable? We will never know.
Looking at our relationship with the Great Provider – are we happy with all that He has given us, or do we try to squeeze out one more “room night?” Do we freely give the couch in the lobby or do we record the 101% occupancy and make them pay for it? Would we have given Mary what she needed as “she wrapped the baby in cloth and laid him in the manger”?
On that night God did not care about the Innkeeper’s profits. He cared about the man’s heart. It is the same today between us and Him.