It was my turn to volunteer for child care at my local Bible study. I only joined this study a few weeks ago, so I don’t really know any of the mammas or the kids. When the sign-up sheet came around, I thought about where my strengths are. I spent last year serving in the Kindergarten room at our old church so I thought that would be a natural fit. Turns out, that spot was taken. I filled my name in the next available space and didn’t give any more thought to it.
But guess who was working His way into my thoughts? Yep. Him. He was tugging at my heart every time I saw a baby commercial. I could feel the weight of that baby in my own arms. When I would pick up my own girls from school, there would be other mommas holding their babies and a yearning would rise up in my stomach. But I don’t want a new baby of my own. Why was I having these longings?
The answer is simple. When God calls you to serve, he prepares your heart. He was preparing my heart for someone very particular today.
I checked into the volunteer table and saw that I had signed up for the “crawlers” room. Oh good, I thought. I entered the room and of course there were a one or two Little Bits that were having a hard time with the separation from mom. After about 10 minutes all the tiny people were adjusting and playing with toys. All, but one. A sweet woman was rocking a very upset boy. I could see that he had some weight to him; solid like my babies were. And his head was so round and beautiful. But I stood at a distance, knowing I might make it worse if I came too close.
Eventually I sat on the floor and a little red headed kitten saddled up on my lap. We purred at each other and I told her how much Jesus loves her. As we were cooing, the woman holding Cabby Pants walked by. She was still trying to console him when for some reason he reached for me.
He felt just like my babies did; heavy and hot. He let me rock him and hold him and sing to him and cup the back of his down-covered head. The swaying came natural but nothing seemed to calm him for very long. Apparently he didn’t have his Nuk today, which added insult to injury. However, his binkie usually only gets them about 15 minutes of quiet.
The Head Lady said she was going to call Cabby’s mom. 10 more minutes, I pleaded. We rocked some more. Then we moved our chair so he couldn’t see the door and remember exactly where mom left him. Head Lady turned on a water faucet and the whimpering settled. I told him I get it, water calms me down too.
Eventually, Crabby Pants turned to face me. He seemed like he was getting bored even. So we practiced standing up. I knew it was OK then to start playing and being happy. I blew zerburts in his neck and he started to giggle. We played the tickle version of the Itsy Bitsy Spider. Crabby Pants was crabby no longer. And it only took 1 hour and 45 minutes.
With ten minutes left to play, he let me set him on the floor so he could roam and touch and lick all the toys within reach. He was on his own and happy. What a success.
Thank you Lord for giving me the chance to serve you through loving on babies today. Thank you for the yearning and the gifts to follow through on that calling today. Give me eyes to see where you want me tomorrow.