It may be cheating, but I’m writing this “Minister’s Message” to you all from a comfy couch at my brother’s house out of state, while I listen to his second child, just 3 weeks old, coo-ing away and making all the cute little baby sounds.
It’s amazing how that at this age, all this kid needs are food of the liquid variety, a clean diaper and a place to sleep. He really is pretty low maintenance.
But there’s something profound at looking into his little eyes and thinking that all he has known is love. He hasn’t been hurt by the world yet. He hasn’t experienced hatred because of his skin color or who he loves. He hasn’t been told his body is wrong in some way. He hasn’t felt let down by his government. He hasn’t been told that he is not good enough. Which is absurd, because if anyone in the world is a lazy loser, it’s a baby! I mean, all he does is eat, sleep and poop. Such a freeloader!
But I think we’re able to look at him and not feel that way, not blame him when he wakes up in the middle of the night or when he is cluster feeding for three hours without stopping, because we’re somehow able to put aside our own worldly hurts at the door for his sake. We don’t get mad when he spits up on our shirts or needs a new diaper just 10 minutes after we last changed it.
Because babies are love and have no hatred to give. Babies are little sponges, absorbing what the world around gives them. Babies bring out the best in us. We sit still longer, holding their sweet bodies and counting their toes. We speak more softly, not wanting to disturb them from their rest. We touch more gently, not wanting to hurt these tiny, fragile beings.
I don’t know about you all, but the world feels pretty rough these days.
I have a long list of pains and hatred from watching the news or even just going out to the store. But instead of letting those be the things that I push back out of my body and into the world, I’m going to try to respond to those around me as if they were 3-week old babies. I’m going to try to speak softer, sit and listen longer, touch more gently and spread more love.
The world needs it. I need it. And I bet you need it too.
Peace, my friends.
Pastor Meredith Harber ministers at Christ Lutheran Church 128 N. Soldotna Ave. Worship is at 10 a.m Sundays in person or on Facebook Live and 7 p.m. on Facebook Live.