Child of Wonder

RC child of wonder.jpg

Every few Sundays, I get the privilege of sitting across a high chair from my 20-month-old faux-niece, Ellie (I say “faux” because we’re not related by blood, but her parents are dear friends and I was lucky enough to be granted the title “Aunt Rachel”).

Ellie loves scrambled eggs, chicken nuggets and yogurt. Every Sunday she takes her spoon, dips it into her yogurt and attempts a bite much too big for her cute, little mouth, and the yogurt smears all over her face. It’s a sight to behold.

Ellie loves to laugh, and I love making her laugh. It’s the best sound in the world. 

Her mom, Lizzie, once told me that Ellie’s first Christmas was sweet in that it really made her think about how vulnerable Jesus was as a baby.

There are countless things that could go wrong in birth,” Lizzie said, “and Jesus was born without any of our modern-day medicine!”

It also got me wondering,” she continued. “Was he a normal baby? Did he sleep through the night at three months like a wunderkind? Was he good at nursing right away (because most kids aren’t!)? Did he ever pee on Mary? These are the questions I have!

Lizzie’s last question made me laugh out loud. However, her questions also hold quite a bit of truth in them. Jesus, while he was God, came as a very real, very tiny, very vulnerable human baby. 

Mary held him in her arms. She kissed his cheeks and stroked his hair. She bathed him and wiped him and was probably peed on by him. She loved him and soothed him, and all the while I have to imagine she was drawn deep into the wonder that only a baby can bring.

“Look at him!” she probably thought. “How did he get here? Why did God pick me? He just grabbed my finger! I think he looked me in the eye! What is he thinking? What is he feeling? Does he know I love him beyond belief?”

My friends, Lauren and Thea, shared with me that their toddlers draw them into wonder daily. 

Maelee Kate has made me aware that the simplest of things can be filled with wonder,” Lauren said. “She loves the rising and the setting of the sun, so we stop every morning and evening to watch the sunrise and the sunset. It causes me to pause and be more aware of things I sometimes miss.

Thea echoed a similar statement saying her daughter, Al’s, attention to things as ordinary as a leaf, her hand or the view outside the window, make her pause and pay attention to the things Al is noticing.

I stop and marvel at what she’s thinking,” Thea said, “how she’s growing and learning so quickly.”

I bet Mary experienced something similar as she watched Jesus grow. She probably paid close attention as he explored his little world in the Middle East, discovering the taste and touch of every single thing he could get his hands on. 

Could it be that God chose to send Jesus as a baby because he knew that, in itself, would draw us into wonder? He knew that only a child could teach us to slow down enough to really savor the good, good gift of his love. 

All who heard they {the story about Jesus} were astonished, but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often.” (Luke 2:18-19)

Can you imagine that for a minute? All the commotion of a newborn baby? The showers, the visitors, the gifts and exclamations of delight? And then there’s Mary, in the midst of it all, cradling baby Jesus in her arms, letting the wonder of him sink in.

She was holding a baby - a miracle in and of itself - but this baby was also the son of God.

God chose her, a woman - a young woman - to cradle and care for his son, to raise the man who would save mankind. God invited her to experience the wonders of his love through the heart-shattering wonder of a lively little baby.

But Mary kept all of these things in her heart and thought about him often.”

This Christmas season, take a moment to wonder: what is it about a baby? Treasure these things in your heart. See God’s love for you the way a mother sees a baby. Know God’s delight in you the way a child delights in his surroundings. Experience wonder the way only a child can, and through it all, know God’s in a whole new way.

WomanhoodRachel ClairComment