It was one of those surprise experiences. A couple came into our church and sat down on the back row. They had a little baby that I later found out was two-and-a-half months old. From the front of the church, I could only see there was somebody back there who I could not identify and that they had a little new life package with them. It was not until the close of the service that several people came down and helped me get directed to the back where I could meet this young couple. I met the mother and her husband and their little baby boy.
They held the little boy throughout the service and now were gently holding him and trying to deal with a heart monitor connected to him and a portable feeding apparatus for him. What was wrong? They began to tell me their story of how the mother had difficulty giving birth and the little boy had gone without oxygen for an extended period of time and had some brain damage. They explained to me that the portion of the brain that
had been affected controls his throat, swallowing mechanism, and his
This little baby, not yet three months old, would wake up and look around but he could not swallow on his own. He could not make any sounds. The young mom choked back tears by laughing and explained to me, “He is a perfect baby. He never cries.” Then, unable to hold back the tears, she said, “Oh, how many times I would love to hear him cry, but he never will.” My heart broke for this young couple and for this precious little babe.
Sometimes I think about how we complain about the problems of life when, if we stopped and thought about it, we should be rejoicing about some of those problems. This being a good example, that when we get upset about a child who won’t stop crying, it might not hurt if we paused to think about the mother who will never hear her son cry. Crying and being fussy is a baby’s language. They are talking at a base level saying things like: I’m hungry. I’m sleepy. I need changing. I need love. I’m cold. It’s somewhat of a limited language, but moms and to some extent dads learn it fairly quickly.
Still, you have to be alert and attentive to this new language or you’ll miss the baby’s text message being sent to you. On a spiritual level, the Apostle Paul addresses infants in church. In 1 Corinthians 3:1 and following, he tells about babies in the church and apparently they had gotten his attention. It is noteworthy, though, that babies are much like their adult counterparts. They want what they want when they want it with little or no time lapse whatsoever. They want to be understood. They want something done if you can’t understand them. There are several items that we need to remember
when dealing with babies, whether they are new in our homes or scattered throughout the congregation at our churches.
First of all, we need to remember that babies are not mean, evil little creatures. They may get on your nerves. They may not understand what your commands are all about. They may not even be able to be understood when they cry, but it is important we remember how precious they are even though they are difficult to deal with sometimes. They certainly should not dictate everything that goes on in a household day after day after day, but it is always wise and helpful to pay attention to them because they at times desperately need you. They have no one else but you.
A second item to remember is don’t get upset or angry when a baby cries. It is the only mechanism available to them for communication. There ought to be times when you pause to give thanks that they can cry. Remember the precious young mom with her infant child and how she longed for him to be able to cry.
Another item to remember is to keep loving them and encouraging them to grow and to learn. It takes time and patience for a baby to grow. Most of them will grow and mature and learn to talk and walk and sing and share life with you, so keep on loving and keep on lifting them up.
One last item to remember is that as you deal with a baby, it is not necessary to act like them. Seriously, it is best if you are a grownup to act like you are. You once were a baby yourself, but if you have moved on to maturity try to stay there. As the Apostle Paul said, “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things” (1 Cor. 13:11).
God help us to love babies when they cry or even if they are unable to, and be there to love them. Try to understand and nurture them. They will be blessed and so will you.
The author can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.