Monday, December 24, 2012


It's Christmas Eve. I'm on my way to wrap the final couple of present when I hear my littlest one crying. Wailing, actually. We're in New York for Christmas, staying in the most beautiful of homes. But my baby doesn't care about the beauty. She's woken up. And she's scared. And she's standing in her crib in her adorable Christmas pajamas in this lovely guest room and she's wailing at the top of her little lungs. I'm supposed to be playing a board game with my in-laws, but I can't ignore the desperate cries of my baby so I go into her room, hoping to quiet her before her brothers awake. I lift her out and cuddle her tiny little frame.

 "Hush, little one. You don't have to be afraid. Mommy's here. I'm here, little one. I'm here with you now. Hush. Everything is OK. Hush, my little girl."

I lay her down on the mattress beside her crib, where her brothers are fast asleep, and I cradle her chubby little cheeks in my hands. She's been crying hard, these past couple minutes. Her eyelashes are clumped together from tears. Her face is rosy, flushed from crying and tired from the late hour.

I look at my baby and I think of Another. I think how He really was a baby. I think how He would have cried, and awoken in tears, and needed sleep. I look at my baby's tear-stained face, and my heart awakens anew to that Baby two thousand years ago. He was divine, the Christ Child. But like this baby in my arms, He would have cried. He would have needed His mother to hold Him and rock Him and soothe His tired body back to sleep. Savior, veiled in the flesh of a crying, newborn baby.

I hear by family downstairs, talking, laughing. But I keep whispering to my little baby girl. I assure her that she needn't fear, that she needn't be afraid, for her mother--that person who has been destined to love her and care for her and watch over her--is here with her.

"Hush, little one. Everything in your world is right. You needn't cry. You needn't be afraid. I am here with you."

As I say these words, the tears begin to flow. He came to earth to to speak these words of love to His people. Somehow I have an easier time believing the words I just wrote when they're in the abstract, or about someone more important. So I will rephrase and make it personal: He came to earth to speak these words of love to me. There is wondrous and rich theology wrapped up in the phrase 'God with us.' Why is it  easier to believe the cosmic implications of such truth than it is to believe the profoundly personal ones? God came to earth to be with me, to save me, to dwell with me.

The One who made me, who created me, who sustains me, who came to earth for me, now speaks to me?

 "I am hear with you, my child. And you needn't be afraid."

It's Christmas Eve. I have family, in-laws, who I love. The baby has fallen back asleep. There are board games to play. So I'll return downstairs, and only say this: Merry Christmas!