ten little fingers. ten little toes. as a mama with new babies, that’s what i looked for. didn’t you? i can hear the cry from a room of nurses and midwives and grandparents, as they celebrated the arrival of a whole little person.
somehow, that symbolized perfection. whew – deep sigh – baby was all there, whole and perfect.
but what if she wasn’t? or he wasn’t? what if, like my precious friends, we’d tried for years and couldn’t have a baby of our own? what if we’d been given a baby who, by the world’s standards, wasn’t “perfect?”
i volunteered for years for a beautiful organization called now i lay me down to sleep. (i need to get back to it since we’ve moved.) we offer free photographic services to families who are losing a little one at or near birth; we offer a way for them to validate the life of their precious baby, for however long they have the chance to hold him or her, here on earth.
my daughter once asked me, “do you cry at the sessions, mama?” “yes, usually, i do,” i said. “do you cry for the mamas, or for the babies?” she asked.
and really with very little analysis, i realized i cry for the families. the babies, they will be ok. they’ll join their papa-Creator in His arms, and He will hold them, complete and without earth-brokenness. but the families, they get only a taste of that creation-breath, if at all. they get only a glimpse of the person they helped form, here in the shadowlands. and if they have no knowledge of the One who molded those limbs, those lips, who painted those perfect lashes, then they hold their little one without hope.
if, though, they know Him, if they walk hand-in-hand with the Artist who makes all things beautiful, then their moments of encounter with their smallest loved one are a mere glimmer of the light and the beauty that will be shared completely, in all its glory, at the end-and-beginning of Life, complete, when they reunite with Him and with each other.
so yes, here on earth, ten seems a perfect number. but our eyes see darkly, dimly, through a mottled mirror that doesn’t accurately reflect what is Perfect about us each. though we all are broken, we are formed in the womb of our mother with intent and care, with love and artistry. and someday, in our new home with the One who loves us most, the ultimate glory of our creation will be visible, and we will celebrate… we will dance.
p.s. – feel inspired to write? or to see what others are sharing? i’m joining a cool group of thinkers and writers sharing on fridays – stop here to see the beginning of the journey.