The church ladies hovered around my newborn, squealing over his precious face.
“Have you ever seen a more adorable baby in your life,” one said to the pastor as she approached the group.
“Well yes!,” she replied. ” And so have all of us who have had them.”
For a split second I found myself almost heartbroken that someone wouldn’t resoundingly agree that I brought THE most beautiful child into the world. But as i got used to the idea, it occurred to me that she was saying much more than any of the “oohs” and “ahhs” ever would.
Those who know me well are aware that I often refer to Micah Ministries as my first born. For a good while, my own mother was convinced she would never be a grandmother to anything other than this little 501c3 in Fredericksburg. And until February this year, the people Micah serves, most old enough to be my mother, father or sometimes grandparent, have been my only children. For them, I’ve spent my waking hours, and many when I should be sleeping, researching solutions, planning for outcomes, creating opportunities and finding resources for the sole purpose of ending their homelessness in Fredericksburg. And because of that effort this “baby” of mine has grown from a helpless, grunting concept to one that walks, talks and impacts the lives of others.
But now that I have a biological child of my own, I’ve come to appreciate my “first children” and their plight all the better. While gazing into the perfect face of my little man, I have considered more than once how every person, even my homeless friends, start their life as something just as sweet and innocent. Some mother, somewhere, swore him or her, even for just a second, to be the best thing that had ever happened to her. And the rest of the world could show nothing on their faces for these children, but joy, happiness and love. But somewhere along the line, for our homeless, those heart-warming looks from the community turn to disgust, sadness and hate.
So if I’ve got this right…God gives us something incredibly perfect, and at the mercy of the world it either makes it or breaks it? Because they are an adult and should be making better decisions for themselves, they aren’t worth our time? That beautiful child that came into the world doesn’t matter anymore because the world got ahold of him or her and they just aren’t CUTE anymore?
Where have we gone wrong in understanding the blessing of every life?
A friend of mine, a doctor who has spent time in a delivery room or two, warned that I would learn the true meaning of John 3:16 when my own child entered the world. And oh, how right he was!
God may have so loved the world that he gave his only son, but my soul rattles with just the idea of my child strapped to a cross to die, no matter what he did or what benefit it might bring about. When you become a mother, you not only realize the great gift a child is; you finally understand the sacrifice God made on our behalf. He gave us HIS child, knowing what the world would do to him, and He accepted that sacrifice, so that every baby from that point forward would be blessed.
I look at my son and, yes, I think he is the most adorable and wonderful thing I’ve ever seen in my life. But I acknowledge that so does every other mother, no matter what becomes of their children as adults. Even our homeless had mothers who realized the true miracle of life upon their child’s birth. “All of us who’ve had them,” know our babies have been given to us just the way they were supposed to be. At the mercy of the world, a lot of things can happen. Regardless, that original perfection never changes. Nor should our commitment to all of brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, born at the hand of God.