The site was an encamped caravan. The desert wanderer and a much beleaguered rabbi who had made the mistake of engaging this bedouin tramp in a religious discussion.
"How can you not believe in God?" exclaimed the Rabbi. "Look at all there is around you."
"I did not say I do not believe in God, but only that there is no evidence of him. I say to you, if he does exist, he does not work hard at letting us know it. There is even less evidence that he cares for us."
"But the Scripture says...," sputtered the rabbi.
"The Scripture! Forget what is written. If there is a God, then let him come down here where we are. Let him live in this filthy place where we live. Let him smell the stink, let him feel the poverty, let him know pain, let him see the hunger...let him feel the hunger. Let him know what it is to eke out an existence in the wretched poverty. Let him see a friend die, feel the agony of loss, the unfairness of death. Let him know what it is to watch a little child die and see him taken from his mother's arms for burial. Let him see our diseases, the twisted feet, the sockets of blind eyes. Let this God of yours be hated, jeered, cheated, robbed! Let him lose everything he owns at the hands of the wicked. Let him be dragged before a court of law, as was I. Let him discover firsthand how unjust justice really is!"
The bedouin's vehemence grew as he continued. "And sin! He is so interested in whether or not I sin - let him feel my temptation. Let him experience my weaknesses. Then let us see how he feels about all the rules and commands he has put on me - rules I cannot live up to, yet if I do not live up to them," the bedouin snarled, "he will not like me anymore!"
"Let him feel what I feel, here in this miserable aching, decaying body of mine! And then, let him die! Yes, let him die the way I will probably die, like most wanderers die, out here alone. Homeless, uncared for, forsaken, forgotten! If he wants to impress me, let him become like me. Then maybe I will believe in your God...but not until then!"
~Gene Edwards in The Birth (An awesome view of Christ's birth from the perspective of angels looking down upon and participating in the scenes)
May you believe more deeply in the One who felt our temptations... experienced our weaknesses...Who smells the stink, poverty, and pains of this world.
To Him be all glory! And may peace reign in your heart...because you know a God who knows...