On the eighth day of Christmas, Christ revealed to me: the gift of life, the cry of a new born baby.
Soft, warm skin on her chest, rising and falling with the slightest movement, a rested heart pumping blood through this tiny body that just entered the world. With eyes closed, nose wrinkled and head snuggled into her mother’s arm, she sleeps, exhausted from the tumultuous tumble into this big, crazy world.
Babies are the definition of innocence. Completely dependent on their mothers for nourishment and relying on the help of others for safety, warmth, and care of every kind, babies place complete trust in others to allow for their survival. Without the protection of their parents, how would they live?
Until I held a new born for the first time, I didn’t quite understand that “warm and fuzzy” feeling people get when they see baby shoes, hear the cry of a little baby girl or watch a couple pushing a stroller through the park.
Holding my second cousin, Annika, my long arms wrapped around her tiny frame, it was like God was washing a light over my eyes, allowing me to see beyond her body and into the heart of her creation – her reason for being here, the gift of life.
Babies will grow into toddlers, and into 1st graders, then teenagers, to twenty-somethings, and eventually marry and have their own children … but for these first moments I held Annika and saw just how precious her life was. How amazing that God knew her even before she was in her mother’s womb and how her existence in itself is the miracle of life.
What a gift.
The birth of every child is a reminder of the Joy that came with the birth of Jesus – the promise of a new life in Him. When we choose to live by the Spirit, we are not only our parents’ children, but children of God. He created us in love and even when we strayed so far from Him, He touched down on this earth in the form of a baby boy, giving us His son so that we may live in unity with Him for eternity.
Just as parents watch their babies grow, God watches us grow. He carries us, protects us and holds us as His prized possessions. As a parent is so inexplicably proud of their new born child, so is God for us. For all of us. This love is never ending and unlike anything we have ever experienced.
But if there is one thing that comes close, I’d imagine it’s the love of a mother and father for their beautiful, wonderful baby. And as we have seen from the tragic deaths of 20 precious children, their lives, no matter how few years they lived, pointed back to the purpose that we are created to live out – that with Him, our journey doesn’t end on this earth. We come to Him with childlike faith and He takes us Home.
Listen to this song by Bebo Norman, “Born to Die.” Our King chose to be a baby boy.
** Check back tomorrow to see what Joy I’ve discovered on my 12 Days of Christmas journey. Miss Day 7, Day 6, Day 5, Day 4, Day 3, Day 2, or Day 1? **