By Kelly Smith
A newborn baby inspires hope. The earthy, metallic smell of birth mixes with the sweetness of Johnson & Johnson’s. It reaches your heart through your nose. A smile tickles your lips as you start to talk in a silly voice you wouldn’t dare use in an adult conversation.
Babies are a phenomenon of hope and expectation.
My sister recently gave birth to her first child, a precious little boy named Charlie. As I held Charlie for the first time, my heart began to fill with hope for my nephew.
I considered all the promising things in his life and how he would be shaped by them.
Born to two affectionate and caring parents, Charlie will be loved well. Matthew and Jessica love God and will teach Charlie that Jesus loves him very much. They met while performing together in a theater, so I know Charlie will be exposed to the arts. Both are well-educated and value books, science, and history; Charlie will no doubt be a smart kid. He comes from a multicultural bloodline and will taste sushi and chello kabob before his second birthday.
Charlie was healthy and happy on the day of his birth. He kicked and screamed when he should have and slept well when swaddled and cuddled. His dark eyes searched the room curiously as his aunts, uncles, and doting grandparents loved on him those first few days.
I hope the best for my precious nephew. He is set up for success. He is poised for a happy life.
Visiting another birth, we meet another baby boy. He is born to loving parents. His bloodline is rich with royalty. His mother is meek and mild. His father is skilled with his hands and will no doubt teach his son the craft. Even still, there are no promises of an easy life for this baby.
Like my Charlie, this baby must have looked around the stable with wonder as visitors knelt low before his crib. He cried and nursed and grew in wisdom and stature.
Baby Jesus brought hope on the day of his birth.
Through his birth, his life, his death, and his resurrection, we have hope.
I think of the hope I had for Charlie the first time I held him. I wonder if Mary’s heart broke a little as she held her own son, wrapped tightly in swaddling clothes. Did she release her hopes for Jesus as she breathed in the scent of his soft skin there in the hay? Or was it during the walk to Calvary that she finally understood Jesus to be the hope for all of mankind—the hope for her own soul?
My mama heart cannot even fathom it.
Even more unfathomable is the thought that God loves us so much that He sent His Son to be our hope. Imagine releasing the hopes you have for your own child for the benefit of others. This is the love God has for us.
But he was wounded for our transgressions;
He was crushed for our iniquities;
Upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
And with his stripes we are healed.
(Isaiah 53:5 NKJV)
Kelly Smith is a small town girl who married a small town man 17 years ago. She has three energetic blessings, ages 1 to 11. Her favorite indulgences are coffee, reading, writing, and running. Kelly believes we are created for community and loves to find ways to connect with other women who are walking in the shadow of the cross. She blogs at mrsdisciple.com.
Photograph used with permission from and copyright of Richard Taylor Campbell.