Cradled in my arms, he lay. With a gentleness I did not recognize in myself, I ran my hand over the top of his head. His hair, so fair that it was scarcely visible, tickled my palm almost imperceptibly. Eyelashes upon cheeks, fists closed tightly, breath so light I could barely hear it. I spent hours staring, hours studying, hours wondering over my new son.
As the days and weeks progressed, I learned all there was to know about my sweet boy. I watched his hair grow as he snuggled and nursed. I knew his cries, and the tone of his voice could move me to tears or solicit a laugh. The rhythm of his life became the rhythm of my life and my eyes missed nothing as I cared for this child that was given to me.
The truth is that no amount of exhaustion or frustration could keep me from caring for my son. He was mine, and getting to know him was like opening a gift each day. As he cried and crawled and stood and stepped, my eyes were upon him. Nothing short of miraculous, he unfolded and bloomed right before me. He was known and seen and loved from the very day he ever was.
And so were you. And so was I. For even more than we delight in our children, our Lord delights in us. He loves in ways that our beyond our comprehension. His generous love has much to offer us.
Whether or not you had parents who adored and affirmed you, or you lived in a home with stress and strife, it is an absolute truth that you are loved. One of the wonders of parenting is that some of what we offer to others has also been offered to us. God did not wait for us get our lives together, he loved us even in our mess.
Because while I lived and breathed the miracle of my son, I could only know his face from the time I saw it. I could only hear his cries from the moment he had voice. For as deeply as I adore my firstborn, it is nothing compared to the way he has been loved and known from the beginning of time. The God of all Creation spoke life into my son, and has known forever who he will grow to be, what he will learn to do. As his momma, I may study his hair, the curl of his lip, the turn of his toes, but I have never felt those bits of minutiae in my hands as they actually came to be. God has.
The way He loves what He has made exceeds our ability to comprehend. Looking down upon His world, God sees the child he molded, sitting in the creation He breathed on the very first day. And He knows what we doubt, that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. The God of all sees the scope of your life and knows you are made for what you are called to today. Even when it is hard.
As we come to discover the love that God has given us in the gift of his son, we are inspired to let his love flow through us to others. 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 tells us, "For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again."
So, stare at the baby asleep in your arms. Weep tears of joy for the wonder this baby is. Love with abandon and wallow in wonder as you parent the child that has been given to you. And then let yourself remember that in this very moment you are seen and adored, the well-loved Creation of your great God.