"Crucified, laid behind a stone. You lived to die, rejected and alone. Like a rose, trampled on the ground You took the fall and thought of me above all."
When I sing those words I can't help but put myself in the "me" position and reflect on how Jesus
regards me, how He went so far out of His way to be not only my King, but my Savior as well. It's a moving sentiment. But this time as I sang, the "me" included something currently very much a part of my being, but also quite separate: this baby.
Standing there singing these words of recognition I was surprised and stunned by the striking thought that Jesus died for my child.
The thought has surely crossed my mind before. God so loved the world... It's His will that no man should perish... My loved ones, including my future kids, are included in the world and they would be considered men, but this time was different. This time I was struck, taken back, almost breathless. My child, this child, has been accounted for. His sin has been dealt with. His soul redeemed. This very child I carry now and cherish already has a Savior King: the very Savior King I adore and cannot live without.
I began to cry in sheer gratitude. So much more than how grateful I am for my own redemption was my relief and appreciation for what Jesus did for this baby. As a Mother-to-be, I constantly think of the things I want to do for my child. I scrutinize my home and come up with ways to make it safer, I eat wheat bread even though it's gross, I try to learn about things I will want to teach him when he is older, I consider the life choices he might make so that I can offer ample love. More than anything I am filled with this instinctual desire, rooted far deeper than I could know, to protect this kid with every resource at my disposal - outlet covers, nutrition, knowledge, compassion, etc. When he cries out I'll be there, whatever I need to do. But the one thing I cannot guard him against is his sin. He's a creature born into a fallen world and one day he'll fall, too. He'll need a protector then, but I won't be able to help.
I never considered before now that part of the Gift of Christ is that it soothes a parent's helplessness when her own child sins and calls upon himself the penalty of death. How can I express what pain I feel when I consider that this seemingly perfect being whom I have loved since before his conception is going to find himself imperfect? And how can I express the joy I feel when I consider that in his imperfection he can look to the Savior who has sweetly turned my own ashes into beauty? As much as I hate that this world is cruel, that in it we are held captive to depravity, I love - I relish and bask - in the knowledge that the very thing which brings us despair also brings us to Christ. Someday this child will feel lost and alone, crying out for help from anyone or anything listening and it will kill me, but I won't be able to answer. Christ will.
This "Baby Berry" is so loved already. Gabe and I are enraptured, but it's not just us: there is a village of people who are greatly anticipating his arrival and will shower him with affection. But all of this just pales in comparison to the love God has had for him for eternity. Being honored with the privilege of carrying this baby is yet another reminder of how insanely loved we are by the Author of life. I wish somehow I could remove "sin" as a danger for this child, but at the same time, since God's grace tastes sweetest to the ones who need it most, I am excited for the day I can share with him the truly Good News.