I saw a little baby in the checkout line at Walmart last night with his teen-aged, probably un-wed mother and pretty tipsy, probably grandparents. The grandfather was feeding him a bottle while stumbling around the aisles, paying scant attention to the fact that baby was frantically sucking on air as the bottle wasn't tipped enough to get milk to the nipple. He almost dropped him several times as he shifted him from arm to arm. The language used between grownups-- to each other and to baby-- was harsh and unloving at best, foul at worst. I had to stand in line for 20 mins in front of these people (stupid Walmart lines...but that's another topic) and it about killed me. It was the closest I think I've ever come to snatching someone else's baby and running. I had to call Jeremiah in the parking lot and just check in on my own babies.... *tears*
I just heard bad news about a friend of ours from church. She was in our home group several years ago and we've kept up a Sunday-morning-conversation-in-church acquaintance since then. She apparently collapsed in homegroup meeting last night, not breathing, un-responsive. They took her to emergency and my source had no further news at the time. She has four kids-- the oldest in second grade, the youngest not yet two. I just saw her in church this past Sunday!
Christmas is a joyful time of year, for the most part. But as our pastor reminded us this week-- the shadow of the cross hangs over the manger and it was our sin that made it necessary. The Lord has blessed our family immeasurably and it is especially obvious this year as we celebrate Judah's first Christmas with us, but I have to remind myself that we are not in heaven yet and there is so much we must do to reach out to those whose lives may be much less insulated against the cold of a fallen world than ours is.
Lord, don't let me get too comfortable.