Christmas · My Thoughts

Why a Baby?

A newborn baby coos and breathes a heavy sigh, feeling safe and warm. Mary rolls over and lays her arm across the baby to make sure he’s OK. Joseph stirs because of Mary’s movement–the trio connected deeply after a long trip and the eventful night of birth.

Tranquil animals surround these three in this stable in the little town of Bethlehem. A jersey cow moos softly and adjusts a hind leg that’s cramped. A donkey brays and twitches an ear with lazy eyes closing to rest! Sheep move like shadows around this enclosure, chewing the scattered hay and enjoying the warmth generated by the other animals and humans. The peaceful mixture of sounds in that manger so long ago echo through the centuries.

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A baby – why did God decide to come to earth as a defenseless, dependent baby 2000+ years ago?

The answer is easy:  the allure of a baby is magical, especially a new born. Just watch children and adults alike swarm to uncover a newborn, look into the face of innocence and joy and wonder at another miracle. Yes, a baby attracts most everyone to its side, and that’s what God wanted.

So this Christmas, make sure you take the time to really connect with the baby Jesus in that stable. Look into His eyes, touch His small round hands and marvel that you are staring at the face of God!

Several years ago, I wrote the following short story and it certainly connects at this time of the year–Enjoy!

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I Found My Answer

            She looks so familiar; I’ve seen her before.  She has the answer I know to the question that has been haunting me for months.  All I have to do is get her alone and ask my question, my one big important question.  Any time I get close enough to her to ask, my parents throw their arms up to guard the baby and scream, “Don’t hurt the baby!  Be careful!  She’s fragile.  You could hurt her.”

            You see, she’s new.  They just brought her home from the hospital.  Her name is Ann.  I’m Laurie, her three-year-old sister.  I wasn’t that excited about her when she was in my mom’s tummy, but since I’ve seen her, I know she’s got the answer, if they will ever let me near her, alone!

            I try to outfox them–one time after another I almost get to her–to whisper my question in her ear.  She’s one of those who knows, and I know it.  I recognize her and her spirit.  But their stopping me frustrates me. What am I to do?

            I must get to her before she forgets, like I have.  Or have I?  I have a vague recollection.  Cloudy images float through my mind at times that are a part of the answer, but I know she knows for sure!

            My deep desire for the answer only increases; my tactics change, but nothing seems to work.  They’re set on protecting her from me, and I’m equally set on getting to her for the answer.

            I stand by my mom as she holds her–that beautiful cherub face ready to tell me, but I know I can’t ask this question in front of Mom. She would only get upset because I would need to get real close to Ann.  I have to whisper right in her ear then put my ear up to her mouth to hear her response, because it will be spoken very softly and gently in words no adult can recognize.  I think I still can understand.  I used to be able to hear that.  I’ve seen that face before I know.  I’ve heard some of her sounds and they sound vaguely familiar–other worldly.  I don’t need much time, only minutes, but we need to be alone and quiet!

            I don’t give up, but my plans have changed.  I stop the outright method; I wait and watch for the opportune time, and my patience finally pays off.

            Ann is baptized at one month old, and my parents give a big party, inviting family and friends to show off their new child. This proves to be the distraction I need.

            The guests all “ooh” and “ah” over her and bring me gifts too, so I won’t feel left out.  I’m not worried about gifts or sibling rivalry or stuff like that–I’m on a mission.  My folks think I’m jealous of Ann, that I want to hurt her, but that’s not true at all.  If only I could it explain it to them.

            Mom has lots of delicious food and drink.  They enjoy good light-hearted conversation with family and friends.  For the first time since Ann arrived, my parents relax about me bothering my baby sister. The party atmosphere distracts them, so I’m on the move.

            Startled back to reality, Mom asks my grandma, “Where’s Laurie?”    Everyone starts the search for me, but my time had come a few moments ago when quietly I slipped out of the living room, up the stairs into my baby sister’s room.  She was sleeping, but that’s OK.  I can still talk to her anyway, and she’ll answer.

            I pull a chair over to her crib and crawl up into it, careful not to hurt her.  I lay down next to her and began whispering my question into her ear —

            “Tell me — what does God looks like?  I have been here for three years, and I have almost forgotten.”

            A knowing smile crosses Ann’s lips, and her answer came through her spirit as I heard her response, “He looks like me.”  Yahoo! I knew it!  That’s why she looked so familiar!  Something inside me knew it all along!!  Every time I have seen a baby in the last three years, I’ve gotten the urge to ask that question.  I felt drawn to the newborn, but having a baby in my own home really made the asking easy–after I got passed Mom and Dad.

            That answer quieted my spirit, and I was peaceful at last.  She did reconnect me with my God.  Now I could hold on to this truth for a few more years.

            Little did I know my Aunt Janey was sitting in a rocking chair in the corner of the room and had heard the whole conversation (my side only because she can’t hear babies.)  My question touched her heart deeply.

            She didn’t move or try to stop me.  I fell asleep next to my sister at peace with the answer, and my parents found me resting there after their mad search–my quest had ended moments earlier.  I had found my answer.

Copyright © 2018 Larada Horner-Miller


What does the face of God look like to you? Let me know!

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