Amy Grant's Home for Christmas, Josh Groban's Noel and the soundtrack from A Charlie Brown Christmas...these are the tunes I'm listening to as I write. These CDs, along with a few others, are on a loop in our house during the holidays. Especially this year. I had to turn off the news and away from the reports on terrorism and random mass shootings. My heart couldn't take it any more.
I'm kind of a news junkie, but over the past month...the violence has been nonstop, and I became so discouraged by the worst of mankind and the hatred that is rising across the globe. Only God can change the hearts of the brutal, the greedy, and the lost. I can be kind in my own small circle, but I cannot fix much. So, I deliberately turned to setting up our nativity set and remembering a miraculous night an infant King entered a just-as-troubled world in a cold stable surrounded by smelly livestock.
How brave God was to send an innocent child into this filthy world. What an investment He made in His children, who had already failed Him so.
Such is true love. To engage and invest in and commit to something when all past evidence proves the object of affection is untrustworthy. It's only through this sacrifice that I understand anything. If not for the love of God, I would have no hope in human nature at all. On our own, we are aimless and wasteful, fearful and self-absorbed. We truly are immature children. Once God gets a hold of us, though...we have such potential.
The Christ child reminds me that God still invests in us. With every new life, He says, you're all still worth it.
Which brings me to our 30-week in utero grand baby, James. Here's what he looks like now, via his beautiful mama.
Innocence and wonder hidden in a warm belly, almost ready to emerge into the world in the form of James Daniel; another sweet life that comes from heaven with the message of here you go - more hope, new dreams, vast potential, and likely curly hair. Babies are straight from God, so we get the closest glimpse we can get in the flesh. I still believe in you, God says. Look at this.
Baby James doesn't yet know how loved he is; how fearfully and wonderfully made he is. I'm going to tell him as soon as I meet him. And I'm going to tell him every time I see him. In this often dark world, it's important he understands that his heavenly Father is bigger than any tragedy he will ever see in his lifetime. I want James to always have hope as he grows and faces life's disappointments.
I will tell him about the baby Jesus and what hope He brought to the world. I will tell him that babies have great power to soften adults and prompt maturity and sacrifice, and how these things can change a family, which in turn can change a community, and then, yes, the world.
Ten more days, baby Jesus; ten more weeks (maybe less), baby James.
No matter what circumstances into which a child is born, he has the potential to change a human heart. That is the miracle of life.