Friday, May 27, 2011

A Cry for Help

Emmett: 2 weeks old. Photo by GingerSnaps Photography

When a baby cries, your heart may break a little. Your own eyes might fill with a few tears.

When a baby is still crying after you have met all its needs, you may grow frustrated. You might cry a little yourself. The sound might grate on your nerves and cause a headache.

Yesterday afternoon, I was trying to get some work done while Emmett napped. Needless to say, he didn’t really nap. We experienced a couple of those frustrating hours in which I tapped at the computer, then ran upstairs, laid Emmett back down with his blanket, then ran downstairs to do a little more work, then ran upstairs, changed Emmett, ran downstairs, typed again for 15 minutes while his whiny cry tensed all my muscles, then ran upstairs, gave him water, gave him Tylenol (he’s teething) and so on. By the time I had given up on any sort of efficient work and was making supper, he had finally fallen asleep.

While I peeled potatoes, I heard Emmett wake up and whine again. I griped and complained to myself, trying to chop up my frustration while I cut up the potatoes and violently threw them in the pot.

Then this thought hit me, right in the centre of my mind:

“To God, sometimes my cry sounds like a baby’s cry.”

When I then heard my baby’s cry drift down to the kitchen from up the stairs—his innocent, small, simple cry for help—I tried listening to it from the perspective of God listening to us when we cry.

As children of God, sometimes we resemble our own children:

·         Babies are beautiful—especially to their parents. We delight in recognizing our features in them.
o   We are beautiful to God. After all, every human being was created in His image.

·         Even when babies disobey or scream and cry about things that seem so ridiculous or insignificant to us, we love them anyway. We can’t help but love them.
o   Even when we cry and complain or do things that God would rather we not do, He never stops loving us. Never, ever.

·         Babies cry when they need something.
o   We cry (or complain or grumble or think accordingly) when we need something, too.

·         When Emmett called out to me, I came to him.
o   When we call out for help, God hears us, too. When we draw near to Him, He draws near to us.

·         Mothers know their babies’ needs better than their babies do.
o   God knows our needs better than we do.

·         Babies get what they need from their parents: clothes, food, shelter, love. For babies to get what they need themselves would in some cases be difficult and in other cases would be completely impossible.
o   We get what we need from God. In some cases, doing it ourselves is really difficult, and in other cases, doing it ourselves would be completely impossible.

·         Babies’ needs, to them, are really hard to attain, but to parents, are really easy to meet. It’s easy to nurse or feed a baby a bottle, give them a blanket or soother, change their diaper, pick them up and comfort them when they are crying.
o   Our needs sometimes seem impossible to meet to us, but to God, meeting all of our needs (even the needs we don’t realize we have) is incredibly simple.

·         Even when we know that a baby doesn’t need anything specific, we still go to the child to offer it love and affection.
o   God constantly covers us with His love and is always in a position to gladly bless us.

·         In Emmett’s case, as he is teething, I did everything I could to alleviate his discomfort. However, I also recognized that he needs to go through the teething process because it’s part of his development. He can’t eat what he needs to eat as he grows without those teeth. So I helped him to deal with it.
o   There are also times and seasons that we need to endure so we can grow and develop as people. While God is always there to help us out (His burden is light), we still have to go up certain steps so that we can get to the next place that God has intended for us to go.

This thought made me realize that maybe in some areas of my life, I should grow up a little. I mean, I shouldn’t lend worry a hand by fretting. I shouldn’t lend negativity a hand by grumbling and complaining about my problems. Shouldn’t I know by now that God is a loving parent, Who meets all of our needs according to His riches (and goodness gracious, is He ever RICH!)

Even so, it’s nice to know that God hears me when I call.

Before I finish, I must mention one large difference between us as adults or parents and God as our Father: while at times we can get frustrated by a baby’s incessant screams, and our patience becomes paper-thin until it threatens to shred away, God is always patient. He never gets frustrated.

Even though yesterday afternoon was frustrating, I was glad to enter the evening with a nice piece of insight about the way God considers us and the way we ought to try to be. There is something comforting about knowing that God tenderly cares for us even as parents care for their little children.


  1. I loved the analogy about teething. I was sharing it with my parents this weekend!