I expected him to come with wailing. Instead, he came with eyes open wide in quiet wonder.
I now know that raw joy feels like a warm, squirming life clutched naked to the chest. It is alive and more beautiful than you’ve imagined.
He pulled a tiny fist to his mouth as his steely blue eyes met my own. We stared at one another, him blinking thoughtfully, me babbling words of delight and praise—my speech suddenly reduced to the stammered fragments of a child. I admired his long slender fingers, his soft skin, his head of downy dark hair. And my eyes bounced between his and my husband’s, like light dancing on the water on a still day.
When I suddenly remembered it was Sunday, nothing could have felt more fitting. For when you’ve prayed like Hannah, and been given a gift of grace like Samuel, holding that long-awaited treasure makes your heart swell with the gratitude and worship of a thousand Sundays. And you know deep within that this gift is a gift that can only be quickly offered back to the Giver in praise and adoration.
In about four more hours, our friends would all be heading to church to worship. Meanwhile, no stained-glass window or well-tuned choir could have set the mood for worship as well as that wiggling little life in my arms. Our hospital room with its sterile white walls had become a resplendent sanctuary.
As I think about it now, experiencing the birth of a child is a little like being in a sanctuary with two frosted windows, drenching the room in filtered light. Through one, you glimpse the beginning. Through the other, you catch sight of the end.
In the beginning, there was perfect love. It felt no lack or deprivation; it was simply full, so full that it could not be contained. That love brimmed over. And out of nothing, there came the miracle of life.
At the end, there is also perfect love. And this time despite the twisted mess we’ve made God brings forth re-creation: new bodies, new heavens, new earth, new beginnings. When time is finally ripe, eternity will dawn. We’ll never know a birth day like it. Instead of that one small blinking life, those in Christ will all be blinking wonders amazed at the light and the newness of all things. Our eyes will lock on our Father’s and we will stare in quiet, thoughtful wonder.
As I stand between these two windows, I do not raise my hands in worship—I lower them. They form a cradle for the miracle that has been entrusted to me. I will worship my Creator as I rock this sweet miracle to sleep. And as I close my eyes, I will know we are both cradled in the arms of our Father, the one who brought us life when love brimmed over and who will bring us the full measure of life when love has the final word.
Our son Luke Aaron Larson was born, 6 lbs and 12 oz, on the Lord’s Day, the seventh of March at 6:21 in the morning.
Catherine Larson is a senior writer at BreakPoint.
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