It is a kind of red flag warning. Words meant to stop you from going where angels fear to tread.
You are about to venture into an arena of conversation that will open a Pandora’s box of old pain and unleash a Kraken of ugly emotion.
It’s like peeling the lid back on a can of worms that might turn out to be a can of whoop….well you know.
So a thoughtful friend who knows what lies beneath the covers you are about to tear away quietly speaks an urgent caution.
“I wouldn’t go there!”
You pick a Zagat-rated restaurant for the first date intent on impressing the new love whose affections you are trying hard to win.
But then you read some Yelp reviews that clearly demonstrate the place is adept at taking a big wad of money but inept at delivering a culinary experience in the neighborhood of “worth it”.
The warning is clear: “I wouldn’t go there!”
You are pretty sure you know where you are going, but the area of town seems unfamiliar and far less hospitable than when you were last here.
So you make a hard right onto a dark street but something tells you it is a wrong turn which may become a dead end.
That little voice in your head that sounds like the lady in your GPS says, “I wouldn’t go there!”
You get the idea.
There are just some places you don’t go because the cost of going there will be far more than you would ever want to pay.
When the angels heard the rumblings of rumor circulating around the celestial city, they couldn’t believe what they were hearing. Whispers of an invasive incursion into the enemy’s territory were spreading like wildfire.
But it wasn’t just the operation that was stirring the questions. It was the one who was doing the invading.
Jesus, the one and only Son, was going to take on the flesh His word had formed from dirt in the very beginning. He would go and retrieve His lost sheep.
It wasn’t either of the “Archs”—Michael or Gabriel—leading legions of heavenly beings on a special ops rescue mission for God’s chosen children.
God was doing it all by Himself.
The angels were united in an opinion they would have given the Father if invited to toss in their two-cents.
“I wouldn’t go there!”
As the plan continued to unfold it was so radical and extreme as to border on lunacy.
Jesus would be born in a situation that would insult the sensibilities of the very ones He wanted to believe in Him.
An unwed mother engaged to a blue-collar worker from a Podunk town with a bad reputation.
Plus, they would be uprooted at the last minute and wind up staying in a makeshift barn in a city fomenting with political frustration and religious bigotry.
To make things worse, when the very Son of God himself entered the world He would make an inauspicious entrance known to only a handful of people and spend His first night on the planet wrapped in rags and sleeping in a feeding trough.
The words were now nearly exploding in their hearts.
“I wouldn’t go there!!”
Then those same angels were commissioned to go and make the first announcement of this wild, reckless plan by lighting up the heavens and singing an other-worldly song of hope and joy.
Well at least that part of the storyline makes sense.
They are going to do all that shock and awe stuff for a few dirty shepherds who no one likes and whose testimony about the Song will be too easily ignored as wild tales of fancy!?
No kings or in-crowds to see the heavenly lights? No press reviews for the unearthly song!?
What good is an eternal message sung by the angelic choir and backlit by Creation’s LED extravaganza if only a few dingy herdsmen are the only audience?
If outcast shepherds watching mangy sheep in inky darkness on the backside of nowhere proves anything it is this. It doesn’t matter how low the station, how dark the surroundings, how bleak the history, how ugly the background or how painful the circumstance.
There is one thing you will never hear Jesus say.
“I wouldn’t go there.”