I got to hold a baby boy in my arms today. Carter Starnes is the newest member of my Austin Stone family, and I got to hang out with him while his very tired mommy got some much needed rest this afternoon.
There's a lot that goes through your mind when you look down at someone brand new- how people can deny God exists while holding a newborn I cannot understand- I can't help myself from contemplating the miracle of creation, life, salvation, the whole nine yards when I see someone only a few days old. It blows my mind.
But Carter got me thinking about something that not only blows my mind but makes my heart want to completely burst. A few days ago, Andy and I got to bring dinner over to Carter's proud parents and hear the story of his birth. I love to hear birth stories- especially from new moms. It's thrilling to watch them tell the account of the miracle God allowed them to play the leading role in. I also think I'm partial to birth stories because my mom tells me mine every year. Even twenty-eight years after it happened, I sat on the curb of my apartment complex parking lot on October 20th this year and listened to a mother tell her miracle story- one that I got to play a role in too.
And it's the season for birth stories, isn't it? Carter's story fits right into this month's mood, so maybe that's why I was inspired to do something this year that I've never done before. I decided to tell Jesus His birth story. Not tell someone else His story, or read His story for myself out of the Bible. I told it back to Him, with Him as the primary audience, the way my mom tells me about my birth every year, the way Valerie will tell Carter about his one day. While riding in the car through the Texas hill country on Friday, I took some time and told my Savior about the night He was born, in Bethlehem, with a wiped out mom and no nurses and swaddling clothes and shepherds and a daddy who believed an angel who told him the craziest thing he'd ever heard. And, you know what? I think He liked it. I know I liked it. Jesus isn't a baby anymore, but what a precious moment it was talking to Him about when He was. Isn't that amazing? Isn't it incredible that one of the things that we have in common with GOD is a birth story? We all get to hear about the night that we were born. We get to hear about our moms pushing and our dads waiting and our lungs filling with air- you, me, Carter and Jesus Christ.
Carter looked up at me today with a hungry baby face, his tiny mouth opening and closing, desiring something I couldn't give him. Can you imagine Jesus that way? Looking up at the faces of men and women, soft and vulnerable, dependent on people so limited in heart, soul, mind and body- and seeking what He needed to survive? It blows my mind. And it reminds me of an incredible truth- He loved me then. As a baby, which I cannot understand but it doesn't matter, I believe and marvel. He loved me then. How is it that Someone so Pure and so Deserving should become something so humble for me? Because He loves me. And because He loves you.
Oh, sweet Baby Boy. You are so deserving of my adoration, my deep, devoted, heart-felt love- love that is only possible because you loved me first, with the love that saved the world. Love born in Bethlehem on a night when the angels shouted for joy and the shepherds left their flocks behind and your mom pushed and you screamed your way into a world that was dying without You.
If you're reading this, try it out- tell Jesus about His birthday. Make some time, just the two of you, and tell Him what you've been told about the day He came to save you. And may your heart be swollen with love. :)