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A baby is born

A new baby. Swaddled in a fuzzy blanket. Warm and solid, but also tiny and fragile. Dependent. Precious. Sleeping peacefully.


This new baby was born on Friday and came home to La Casa on Sunday. Her mother came to this country from Tajikistan by way of Russia and Mexico, her family fleeing religious persecution. Detained at the border, her mother and father were separated. Her father continues to wait in prison, trapped by a judge who refuses to offer a bond.


Despite knowing the challenges encircling her and her family, looking at this new baby, I am filled with hope. Wonder. Awe. I think of all that life might hold for her. I remember what an incredible treasure this gift of life is.


I wonder if this is how God sees me and holds me always, even now, when I am not so cute or small. I wonder how I can remember to feel this sense of wonder for my own life and the lives of everyone I meet every single day. I want to hold on to this feeling. I want to imagine being held and gazed at with the absolute love in the eyes of a new mother every day.


That is what a new baby brings. Hope. Joy. A restoration of faith and connection. A reminder of what pure love feels like and looks like. A reminder of our everyday miracle of life. A reminder of the fact that we continue to be fragile, we continue to be held, we continue to be precious, always.


A new baby at Christmastime also brings a reminder of the hope and joy and faith and love that Jesus’s birth brought into the world. I can imagine that tiny baby, swaddled and laid to sleep in a feed trough. God incarnated into a fragile baby to teach us how to live.


Jesus was born into a world of suffering. A time and place rife with conflict, disease, inequality, and injustice. Jesus’s family was traveling when he was born and they were dishonored, not given a proper guest room but instead told to stay in the place where the animals were kept.