The lights glow on the tree, reflect twin points of light against squares of window glass, made mirrors by the darkness beyond. There is music playing softly, there is a fire flickering behind me and there is a hush over everything, a blanket of quiet and peace that feels tangible. It is thick and warm around us.
I sit holding this bundle, this newborn baby whose eyes keep drifting to the lights behind me. I remember the Christmas that Youngest was this age, remember sitting like this with her and watching her…wondering at her wonder. What is it about new life that is so indescribable? The children stop and kiss his head, laugh at the faces he makes. Hubby and I take turns trying to make him smile.
His brother, older by twelve short months, is here now too. I am thankful for my older three, who have stepped up and joyfully shared in caring for the babies. I am thankful for those who heard of the need and provided gifts…beautifully wrapped with love…for the babies’ Christmas. In the midst of the grief and struggle and pain their family is facing, there is this bright spot, this outpouring of love. And there is the aching knowledge that as hard as we will try, it’s in God’s hands. There is the edge of uncertainly and we learn to live with it, because it is all we can do.
There is something about this, the babies and the Christmas lights and the way the pace has changed. I feel it deeply when I hold the new one, this tiny baby and all around us is the celebration that revolves around a newborn babe and holding one now seems to bring it home. I think of Mary and of Joseph. I think of the Word made flesh and the God who created the universe contained in a body like this, a scrap of seven-something pounds who struggles to hold up his head and needs every need cared for, who relies entirely on others for every want. It defies words, it leaves only a speechless awe aching in my heart to think of this.
Youngest cups her hands around the tiny face, kisses his wrinkled brow. She is almost out of the room when she turns and says it shyly, says it quiet.
“Mommy, with all the Christmas lights and the music and everything, it kind of feels like the baby is Jesus.”
My first impulse is to correct her. No, that’s not right…you can’t say that of this ordinary babe, this little one.
But then it catches in my heart, the words are fighting in my head and I am overwhelmed by this: The words that the Saviour born a newborn babe some two thousand ago spoke to his friends…“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
And I choke it out, past the tears, that yes, in a way, this baby is Jesus. Yes, He is the orphan and the fatherless and Yes, He is the widow and the homeless and Yes, He is the sick and the broken and the overlooked and Yes, He is with us most of all when we are caring for Him by caring for the least of these.
The Christmas lights become star bursts through my tears and Yes, Lord, Yes. You are with us.
You are with us always.