I have a baby son. Since the day he entered our home, one of the biggest changes was that I have never used an alarm clock since. That era can now be refered to as ‘BC’ – Before Cryingbaby. Before Crying baby, I would fight the alarm clock every morning. Snoozing it untold times… exhausted from the day before and often working too late into the night, I would finally get up with just enough time to start my day. But since ‘the boy’ (as we call him) entered my home, I have awakened to his gentle cries for his morning feeding. Since he is adopted and we feed with formula, I volunteered the first day to be the one to do the morning feedings so my wife could sleep a little longer before starting her day. While eager for this time with the baby, I would nevertheless rise lethargicly and pick up ‘the boy’ and move to the couch or rocker in the front room to feed him. This morning I did so yet again.
I am always amazed that he rises without an alarm – just an internal reminder that it is time to eat – simple hunger stirs him. When I first hear him and peek into his little bed he looks up at me and beams the biggest most delighted smile at me… but perhaps less because it is me, and more because he knows I am the one who will feed him. He will coo as I pick him up and walk across the house, but then I need to set him down to fetch the food and all its accomplices – burp rag, pacifier, blanket, etc. The sweet boy will start to cry – not wailing – but making sure I don’t forget his need. I talk to him, explaining what I am doing and promising that the food is only minutes, sometimes seconds away… but between brief spots of silence to watch me he steadily cries. Right up until the bottle is in his mouth. Then he drinks deeply hardly breathing as bubbles pour up through the nurishing formula designed to be just what his little body needs. Half way through he pushes it aside and I know its his way to say, ‘whoa, thats too much’ and then I sit him up and give him gentle pats on the back until he burps up the air he swallowed with the fluid. Then, instead of finishing the bottle right away, he looks out the window. Any window. He just searches for a window with light. He will arch his back and twist his little body to get even a glimpse of a window… and just stare out. Eventually a little wimper will let me know he is willing to finish the bottle. Another burp, and he’s good. He then smiles and claps his little hands announcing that he is ready to start his day.
I used to play with him for a bit and then return to bed. But this morning, I decided to take a tip from the boy. I need a morning feeding too. I need to wake up hungry in for God. I need cry in my soul if I don’t get nurishment from God’s Word first thing. I need to drink deeply and steadily taking it in so much that God can see the bubbles flying as I soak in His Truth. I need to pause when I’ve had enough, and allow the Spirit’s gentle nudges help me release what I don’t need so that I can keep what is to be my nutrition of the day. I need to then look for the son – straining to get into the Light, even if only a glimpse. And then I will be able to clap spiritually, praising God for his grace and mercy and I will be ready to start my day.
But like ‘the boy’ I will need to regular feedings throughout the day – and may I cry if I don’t get them.
Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk,
so that by it you may grow up in your salvation,
now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
I Peter 2:2-3