What Holding A Newborn Can Teach Us About God’s Amazing Love

Today’s blog is by Tom Adams

Sometimes I find it very difficult to appreciate and accept how much God loves me and you. The world seems kind of gloomy; my own and others’ imperfections seem to shout at me. Other times I get a glimpse of the tenderness and sweetness of God’s love and am overwhelmed by this love and its power.

One Sunday I had one of those amazing glimpse moments. My son and his wife had their first child at 8 AM on a Saturday morning. My wife and I were both going out of town and not sure a visit was possible. The universe smiled on us. My son invited us to the hospital Sunday afternoon, 16 hours after precious Hazel was born.

I was ecstatic to be invited. There were several sets of parents, step-parents and other friends and relatives, and I wasn’t sure we would make the Sunday list. We arrived to see my son beaming as he greeted us in the hospital lobby. His wife was just finishing nursing her newborn and was holding her tenderly when we arrived.

After settling in and hearing about the delivery, my wife was offered a chance to hold Hazel. Her face was radiant, like pure light. She had longed to have a big family and circumstances resulted in her having one son. To hold Hazel and know she was connected was like a taste of heaven to her. Her smile and gentle rocking made that vividly clear.

After a bit, she turned and asked if I would like to hold Hazel. I had not really thought about that possibility; I’m not sure why not. Yet it seemed like the most natural thing in the world. Being less experienced in baby holding, I awkwardly took Hazel as my wife helped me adjust her in my arms. I gazed at Hazel and took delight in her pure beauty. I rocked her and savored her closeness and warmth. She rested quietly in my arms.

Soon, it was time to return Hazel to her mother, who smiled widely despite the tiredness of a long labor. She took Hazel and I watched intently as she adjusted Hazel in her arms for one of the first times. I mused that she was learning how to hold her precious daughter and smile and connect with her. Literally and figuratively, this would be her task going forward—to hold Hazel in her arms, to love her and to help her learn how to pass that love on to others.

There was some conversation yet it was like a soft background to the presence of Hazel and her beaming heart. Her presence filled the room and the hearts of all present.

When my son’s phone vibrated as a text arrived, announcing the approaching arrival of another visitor, we recognized our holy time of oneness was coming to an end. Yet Hazel and her sweet smile would, if we chose, be forever with us. Love starts in these precious moments and continues through the ups and downs of each day and year.

I am not sure I would have appreciated this sacred time in quite this way except for a recent heart meditation. A Shalem friend gathers those interested once or twice a week for a thirty-minute guided heart meditation by phone. I have been praying to fear less and to have a full and open heart for some time. Meditating on compassion and living from the heart seemed perfect and it has been.

The Friday following our visit to Hazel I joined the heart meditation. Part of the guidance is to focus on someone or an experience that stirs us to compassion. I thought immediately of Hazel and holding her.

As I meditated and relived that wonder-filled moment, my appreciation deepened for the tenderness and spiritual connection I experienced in those few minutes with Hazel. I also found myself through this meditation imagining my mom and dad holding me for the first time. I felt how excited and delighted they must have been and how much they loved me. As I meditated, I reflected on God’s love and how much bigger and sweeter it is than all the love poured out on Hazel. I realized the opportunity to let God love me more and more. I also realized that, unlike my imperfect love, God’s love will never let me down. I will never be disappointed because God desires good for me all the time, eternally.

Ten days later, we had our second visit to see Hazel, this time at home with her mom and dad. My son and his wife continued to radiate the joy of being with their first child. Once again, my wife and I were invited to hold Hazel. I was more aware this time of her little heart beating next to mine. Her innocence and pure ability to receive love and to return it by simply breathing and being was very obvious. I realized that at times when God’s love seems illusive or obscure to me, it is always there. I can be held and cherished by a loving God any time my desire for love takes me there. And with inspiration from Hazel and all those I love and am loved by, I can watch that desire for God and God’s love grow each day.

Thank you, Hazel, for this wonderful spiritual experience and appreciation of the awesomeness of God’s love for you, me and all of us.

December 12, 2019 by Tom Adams
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