Two-Baby Sunday

I held two babies on a recent Sunday.

They were both under three months old – tiny, exquisite, perfect.

One was all things brown. He was velvet, melted chocolate, hot cocoa. His eyes were coffee no cream and bottomless. One thick inch of soft curled hair capped his head, and his expression was classic opinionated-old-man-at-the-barbershop. He took in the cacophony of women at a baby shower, never squirming or protesting, while his attentive mother allowed him to be passed around over a slate floor, too gracious to shriek like her hormones urged her to. I rocked him in my arms and wondered if he was thinking, “I can’t quite put my finger on it, but you just look different somehow from my Mama.”

The other baby was milk white, fine flax hair stood straight up, her eyes like jewels. Her young father and tender mother were both still riding the overwhelming awe of it and were weak with love. She wiggled in my arms and made the little irresistible noises that mute all other sound and shelve all other worries. What can I do for you, Baby? What do you need?

No surprise to my own children, I held each baby and marveled that any sane person could believe there is no God. And not just a God, but one who smiles and enjoys Himself. He knit both babies in their mothers’ wombs, and He delighted in the curls and the flax and the cream and the cocoa.

Explain it how you will: there is a God, and He is the happiest Artist.

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“Your way, O God, is holy.  What God is great like our God?
You are the God who works wonders.”
Psalm 77: 13,14

~

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Thanking You, Right Here In The Middle

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Before the celebration is over, right here in the middle of it, I want to thank the Lord, the Giver of all these blessings.

Thank you for hearing my request years and years ago for Christian education for our children, and for providing it. We had to sweat for it, but You said, ‘Yes!’ Thank you.

Thank you for the layers of love my children’s grandparents supply. They are a fountainhead, a safety net, an extra covering, a heritage, givers of chocolate and family stories.

Thank you for the end of the school year and a chance to be reminded how much I love my students. And, for that matter, thank you for 16 – 18 year olds. Wow! What precious creations.  What energy and zeal. What ability and talent. What generosity and compassion.

Thank you for spring beauty, for setting sun turning green leaves gold, for the recent graduate, headphoned and playing soccer in the backyard.

Thank you for the college girl heading back to the mountain to work for the summer, rolling north and east on a full tank of gas from her Memaw and Papaw and on a new set of tires from her dad. I can’t orchestrate everything perfectly for her, but she has a job and a home and money for groceries. And she knows we love her. Thank you!

Thank you for the first born, the working girl, office clothes on a hanger in the car, heading back early, early to get to work on time, and for the chance for me to fix her coffee and boxed lunch complete with napkin-note reminiscent of elementary school. Thank you that we don’t really have to say goodbye to their childhood years – we can live them in little ways their whole lives! Thank you.

Thank you for Mom on the couch beside me, here for a long visit. Thank you that we speak the same language. Thank you for the way she loves all her children and grandchildren. Thank you.

Thank you for our church that has loved and raised our children alongside us, going far beyond the vow they took at the children’s baptisms to “assist the parents in the nurture of this child.”  Thank you for each face and each soul and that you knew we need each other.

Thank you that tomorrow morning, you will meet me on the back porch for the luxury of an unrushed quiet time. If that is all I had to be thankful for, it would be enough.

Thank you for whatever lies ahead for the graduate.  And for your word preached this morning reminding me that this will be a chance to trust you in new ways, to choose your way, to expand your kingdom by planting our feet in new places and claiming those places for you! Whatever that looks like, thank you for the privilege of being a warrior in the grandest of battles – pushing back the fall and spreading your glory to the ends of the earth.

Thank you for beauty and for the urge and time to create it. Use me!

Thank you, Lord.

Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
    and his wonderful deeds for mankind, 
for he satisfies the thirsty
    and fills the hungry with good things.
Psalm 107: 8, 9