“Out of the mouth of babies and infants,
you have established strength because of your foes,
to still the enemy and the avenger.”
~ Psalm 8:2 ESV
Today I decided to grab a cup of coffee from the 711 on our street after my early morning run with Abigail. The cool spring air had been invigorating to us both as I ran and she gazed up in awe at the blossoming trees, flowers, and people who walked by us on their way to the metro station for work. Now my hands were semi-frozen and her nose was pink and I wanted something warm in my hands immediately, if at all possible. I strapped her to me in the baby carrier and kept her cute little purple crocheted hat on so her ears stayed warm. The other girls stayed at the house “helping” Daddy get ready for work.
I first notice her ministry today as we crossed the street to enter the convenience store. A man driving a large truck peered out his window at us, beaming a huge smile in response to her cuteness parading by him.
As we entered the 711, it seemed all eyes were fixated on her. I was a tired, unkempt, sweaty mess, but that mattered little to this early morning crowd – because I had brought with me a living ray of sunshine, strapped to my chest and gazing out at them all with a huge smile on her face that said, “I am happy and I love being alive!”
There was a long line at the checkout and as we passed each person it seemed they “woke up” just by seeing her; even the darkest, most worrisome brow seemed to ease in tension and tired, impatient faces melted into adoring smiles.
A man who worked at 711 hovered beside me as I poured in my creamer just to get a closer look. “She’s just lovely,” he said, smiling, as he took her soft, little hand in his rough, calloused one to shake it a gentle “hello.” As I paid for my coffee, the smiles continued until at last I exited the store to head up the hill to my home. I walked, shaking my head to myself, re-amazed at something I have seen – born witness to hundreds of times – since I first had Grace 4 1/2 years ago – the ministry of babies. A service of smiles.
Their very entrance into the world brings a sigh of relief, a breath of fresh air to this weary world, reminding us all that there is hope for this troubled place we call “home.”
As I had witnessed this morning, even the weariest and most downcast of souls seem to receive a jolt of joy when a baby enters the room.
Why is this?
I think it’s pretty obvious…they are so darn cute! They are adorable, little, soft, and lovable. They have no pretension; nothing to prove. Their cheeks beg to be kissed and their arms ache to be held. They are beautifully and perfectly vulnerable. They smell like fresh powder and the air after it rains and every other perfect smell combined. And they make us feel human and happy and alive again. And this is their ministry. Upon seeing them, we smile – and perhaps the smile begets a positive thought which shifts us in a new direction. Perhaps at times God uses these little, humble, needy ones to move us from a heart full of negativity and complaining to a heart full of thankfulness.
Babies aren’t yet able to show if they are going to be smart, talented, popular, rich, or famous. In simply being who God has created them to be and doing what they have been designed to do at this stage and season of their lives, in the midst of their total neediness, rather than in spite of it, they minister to everyone they meet.
Perhaps there is something we can learn from these little ones, if we will crouch low and listen to their lullaby. Perhaps delighting in how God has created us and simply and joyfully doing what God has designed us to do, weaknesses and all, we fulfill our greatest purpose.
Perhaps it is when we come as we truly are before God – vulnerable, helpless, and broken, but smiling because we know Whose we are -that we can bring the most joy, the most love, the most good that God has deposited in us – to the hearts of others.
For as we walk thankfully, content with who He has made us to be and doing what He has called us to do, we glorify Him. And in glorifying Him, others around us see what a good God He is. And isn’t that really what life is all about?