Our schedule and daily routine were interrupted this week. What a blessing! The birth of our fourth grandchild, first for our youngest daughter and her husband, arrived early on Thursday morning. No, I mean early, like 2:43 AM early.
I'm not going to go off on a proud grandpa tangent, although that would be better than a bad grandpa one. But it got me thinking—Why do we love babies so much?
What is it about babies that catches our attention? Passersby, the elderly, other mothers, and even young children seem drawn and captivated when they see one of these little souls. I know I am.
My wife is committed to family, both immediate and extended. When a new bundle of life arrives, she bubbles with excitement. I love babies, but I don't bounce with excitement like my wife.
When we are out and about, our attention is always drawn to babies—newborn to toddlers. They've been a part of our lives for over four decades.
So what is it?
Why would these little humans grab our attention so much? Because they're so cute!
Really? Most babies come out bald and wrinkly with splotchy skin. Of course, our own children are exceptions. Okay, maybe they're all cute, but not many are pretty at the start. For one thing, they've been immersed in water for months, so it takes a while for them to adapt to an air environment.
We remember an innocence lost. Also, each little one is newness of life itself. Think about it. Everything is new for a baby—talk about stimulation overload! Light, sound, touch, interaction with humans (outside the womb), it's all new.
Someone is bound to say, "But my baby responded to sounds and touch when she was in my womb." Yeah, but it was different then. Before birth, they are encapsulated in a dark, warm, liquid chamber of protection. After birth, everything's exposed in living color and amplified.
The outside world is a scary place to them at first. Later, it will get scary for a multitude of different reasons.
Innocence lost and new life
We all know a certain innocence was lost along the way during life. Psychologists spend a lot of time trying to understand and explain this, but it's really not so hard. Innocence was lost before any of us were born, but many of you knew this already. Deep down we all know it, but we deal with it in different ways.
Consider the enormous amounts of money spent celebrating a new year, every year. People make new year's resolutions with hopes of some newness in their lives. It's one reason western people like the idea of reincarnation, though they don't understand it. It represents a hope of starting over.
Bad news, good news
Here's the bad news. Our innocence was indeed lost. This includes all people not just those who feel guilty. It was lost when the first humans stopped trusting God and wanted to go (and make) their own way.
The good news is that our God is a Restorer of innocence lost. As King David said, "He restores my soul" (Psalm 23:3a). And the good news of the gospel echoes this—God is a Restorer of people—He provided reconciliation through Jesus (Colossians 1:19-20).
Now don't get the wrong idea here.
When I see the newest grandchild for the first time, or at anytime in their life—I love them without reservation. When I see other babies and children, I don't think of the theological implications of a new life, I just enjoy watching them.
Yet, it does spark something inside me. These little souls catch my eye and touch my heart.
How about you? Why do babies grab your attention?