Our Children are a Blessing: Faith, Motherhood & the Childhood of Jesus
(This Christmas letter was sent out awhile back…)
I am happy to have found The Church and made new friends there. (This Christmas letter was sent out awhile back…)
During a sermon, our Pastor was talking about how Jesus often performed miracles among ordinary events—that people didn’t need to look far, or search for thunderbolts crashing in the clouds, because God is with us always.
Thinking of that sermon, I reflect on Jesus during different points in life.
Sometimes Jesus is handy with a plunger…and a few other tools. My son made a game of shoving anything and everything he could find into the toilet; it was his own ceramic basketball hoop. The toilet had been completely dismantled once, it would take a miracle to loosen the latest object shoved inside!
Sometimes Jesus is the friend, at the other end of the prayer, whose shoulder I can cry on. Sometimes Jesus is the cheerleader (really cool how he can set those pom-poms on fire with just a wiggle of the eyebrow) giving me encouragement or hope. But right now, I imagine Jesus as a toddler, just like my own children.
Watching my own children grow so much during the year, literally taking leaps and bounds with each step, has made me wonder what Jesus was like as a child.
The Childhood of Jesus
Small hands grasp the edges of the soft, wool blanket wrapped around him. Somehow the covers have loosened in the night, and he is cold. The cradle rocks with his first, sleepy movements. The world around him is still blurry to his newborn eyes. He reaches for the edge of the blanket; small fingers push its softness into his mouth. Slurp! Slurp! Not what he is looking for…his toes, still tucked beneath the blanket are warm and red. He is drawn to the warmth, and lifts his leg to bring one dimpled foot towards his mouth. Slurp! Slurp! Not what he is looking for…what else is there to do but to cry? With a mighty exhale of the lungs a swell of tears course over his cheeks. Mother has awakened to tend to her sweet baby. He sighs contentedly when he is lifted into her arms.
He looks forward to going to the marketplace, a place of excitement. Women stand shoulder to shoulder, bargaining with vendors. Men gather at the tavern for a cool drink and news brought back from afar. For a small boy—there are whole worlds contained within the activity, the colors, and the smells (the baked fig pastries are among his favorite of the marketplace). Mother kept a close eye on him; one hand was clasped on the sleeve of his robe. He saw a ray of hope when a woman in a blue robes with flowery trim turned to wave—Auntie. Mother stopped to chat. Their conversation would turn to a gentle lull then he would slip away… He had to be quick, for his chubby legs couldn’t run fast, but if he crept low enough he could sneak out of her grasp. Mother turns away, loosening her grip. In a second, he is dashing between the heavy stalls, rolling in the sand, and enjoying the freedom of the open air. He can hear Mother calling her voice tight with frustration. She will send one of the older brothers to catch him. When older, he will not have the urge to run away; instead he will chat with the men, who are amused by a young boy so interested in the world around him.
My thoughts about Jesus as a child are endless… What were the first words Jesus spoke? Did Jesus ever get into trouble, and how do you give the Son of God a spanking? What kind of toys or games kept Jesus entertained? Did Jesus even feel like a child? These questions led me on a journey, both in motherhood and in faith.
Quite unexpectedly, I received an insight. One night I put Nora to bed, and cuddled next to her. The winter sky was clear with moonlight shimmering through purple clouds. As I said a “good-night” prayer to Nora, she lifted a small hand and tugged at my hair. The answer seemed so simple—unconditional love. Throughout his adventures, mischief and growth—Jesus was learning. All of these experiences, beginning in childhood, became the foundation for which Jesus would reach out to humanity through his ministry. Unconditional love guided Jesus to walk on this Earth, embody the human experience, and through his death, receive salvation for all.
Our children are a blessing, to open our hearts to give and receive unconditional love, and through love gain a deeper connection to God.
I look forward to continuing my journey in faith; as my children grow I hope also my understanding of God, and connection to Him will also grow.
In Our Hearts, ©2007
“Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward.” — Psalm 127:3.
“Our family moves in different directions throughout the day, like a river that branches into many tribuataries. And I must struggle to accept that God’s grace flows with small stream…and in the end, we will all be united into the great ocean of His love. “– “By the Water: A Collection of Prayers for Everyday”, Ellyn Sanna, p. 36.
Entry filed under: Crazy Quilt: Writings & Reflections, Letters to My Kids. Tags: childhood of Jesus, children, christmas, Christmas letter, eellyn sanna, faith, family, Family Stories, Inspirations, jesus, memoir, parenting, Quotes.