In the stillness, I sometimes find myself standing outside the cold, damp, dirty cave that served as a stable in Bethlehem and a point of entry for the King of creation. There, I hear a baby’s coos and snuffles and grunts and cries.
There, I hear my King with His deep and basic human needs: a loving touch, a soothing word from a soft voice, comfort, warmth.
His cries echo in the darkness. His needs fill the small, cramped stable and the space between earth and heaven. Although the world so desperately needs Him, His needs in this moment are greater.
His life depends on the world, on the people He created, to care for Him, to feed Him, to nurture Him.
This is a juxtaposition of roles that both unsettles and comforts me.
The Creator of the universe who breathed the stars into existence lies helpless in a manger and finds comfort in His mother’s arms. I recall the birth of each of my girls, their tiny forms, their absolute helplessness, their complete dependence. I recall the bond we shared in those moments right after birth.
I know Him as a Savior, a Redeemer, a source of strength in my weakness. I know Him as a Resurrected King sitting once more upon His throne of grace.
But here, in this moment, He is none of those and yet all of those. He is a baby and He is helpless and filled with needs He cannot meet.
This glimpse of Christmas, of my Savior as needy and helpless, whispers intimately to my heart: I see you, all of you. This moment whispers of truth and grace and unconditional love. It whispers that it all started with Him.
His cries, His needs, His weakness there in that stable mirror mine, the ones I share and the ones I bare to no one. The basic ones and the deep, desperate ones.
He’s lived them out here in this broken, hurting world. He knows them and He knows me. And for that alone, I come to this Christmas with an open, thankful heart.