Miriam learned how to crawl on Monday. As Jonathan said, “Our lives will never be the same.” And they haven’t been since she was born. Watching her learn to crawl makes me think of all the different milestones that mark her life so far. For one, being born. That’s definitely a major one. Being knit together in the womb – developing eyes that see and fingers that move – to entering into the world where the light hit her eyes for the first time and her fingers first touched family … that’s intense.
Miriam decided to come early. (I like to think she’s an over-achiever.) There was a concern about her lungs being developed enough, or the amount of time she would have to spend in the NICU. But God was good, and prayers were answered. She only spent a few minutes in the NICU for a check-up, and her lungs worked fine. She was tiny and strong, what a friend of mine would call “little but mighty.” We were surrounded by family and friends, and very well cared for. God thoroughly blessed us then!
Another milestone that she has experienced is just learning how to use that little body. Watching her now as she learns to pick up things with thumb and forefinger makes me marvel at how God creates us. When Miriam was a newborn, she had little control over her arms and legs, much less her individual fingers. She couldn’t even focus to see more than a few inches away.
Now, she pinches my nose and giggles at peek-a-boo. Laughing is not even an ability with which babies are born. Don’t we take that ability for granted? And what about our ability to speak? Miriam is still working on her first words.
It’s been so incredible to watch her actively learn how to interact with this world. You can actually see her thinking and processing to make sense of her environment. Everything is new, and everything is a process of discovery. As I’ve watched her – this little helpless and tiny being – make discoveries, like the first glimpse of a tree or the first taste of cinnamon, I made a discovery of my own: this happened to Jesus.
The One who designed our eyes to see and our hands to touch went through the process of figuring out how to use them for the first time. The One who made the lame to walk at one point had to learn how to crawl. The One who causes the mountains to sing and the trees to clap for joy first had to learn how to clap His own hands and use His own voice. Infinite became finite, and omniscience became teachable. The Word allowed Himself to become language-less so that as a man He could teach us how to speak love.
So this Christmas, take a moment to observe a child. Watch as they learn and figure out how to interact with this world. I find myself, and even more so our extended family, sitting around and just watching Miriam. We watch her smack at toys, squirm around on the floor, drool on herself, make funny faces, discover new noises she can make… We call it baby TV. Contrast that with our notion of All Powerful God. Then remember the birth of that baby 2,000 years ago. Mary and Joseph watched the King of Angels do the same.
May the Holy Spirit inspire your imagination this Christmas so that the understanding of your heart may deepen. May you encounter Jesus in a fresh way as I have. Be joyful, for the Lord has come!