Faith Focus: The vulnerability of Christmas

The night after my infant daughter’s first day in day care, I bawled. Yes, like a baby. She was just so tiny and innocent … and completely vulnerable. Up until that point in her tender life, Hope had never left my family’s care. So when I went to check on her during her first day in the care of a stranger and could hear her distinct wail all the way down the day care hallway, the effect was visceral. Hit me right in

the gut. So much so that when I heard Hope crying in her crib at home later that evening, I just fell apart.

Throughout the years, a myriad of circumstances beyond my control in the lives of those closest to me have left their marks on my heart – from my baby brother leaving the nest for college to my father entering hospice care. I’ve come to believe we are the most vulnerable when the ones we love are vulnerable.

And my sweet baby, with her fuzzy newborn chick hair and curious hands that had recently found each other, clasping together like long lost friends, she is perfection in my eyes. She is a long-held hope, fulfilled. And I think it’s that sheer preciousness that makes me act a little nuts these days, when her total vulnerability is a little too apparent.

As my husband and I enter this Christmas season – our first with a child to treasure – I’ve been struck by a new realization. The God of the universe chose to give us the one he loved in the most vulnerable fashion possible: a naked, newborn baby. Emmanuel. God with us. I wonder how his heart felt with that first wail from the manger.

This Christmas season, as I hold Hope in my arms, the overly familiar John 3:16 passage opens up to me in a brand new way and I know of no greater reason to celebrate: For God so deeply loved us, the people of the world, that he made himself the most vulnerable, so we could understand that infinitely great love and draw close. 

Written by Charis Dietz, director of marketing and media relations for Buckner International. She and her husband, Kyle, live in Dallas and are celebrating their first Christmas as parents with their 8-month-old daughter, Hope.

This devotion is an excerpt from the free Buckner Christmas Devotional Guide, a series of devotions written to help us come closer to God during the Christmas season. Order your copy of the devotion series by clicking here

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