Every night before I put my precious baby down to sleep we read Moo, Baa, LaLaLa and then we pray for all the babies in the world. We pray that they would have mommies and daddies to care for them, that they would have enough food to eat, a safe place to sleep, and most of all that they would know how much Jesus loves them. It’s a simple prayer, really. To one who overhears, it may strike him as cute or sweet. To a more critical listener, it may seem naïve and idealistic- as believable as a beauty pageant contestant sincerely declaring that her greatest wish is for “world peace.”
To me, there’s great irony in our prayer for the babies of this world. All that we ask for, Carter has. His every need, physical and emotional, is met. His world is simple and safe and beautiful right now. So, were he capable of understanding my words, he would think the prayer redundant. The reality is that as I breathe those words, holding him close to my chest, babies around the world aren’t doing too well. There are 6,200 babies in China that are hospitalized for kidney failure and liver damage. There are babies in Africa who are HIV positive. There are babies down the street whose siblings all have different last names and who will never know who Daddy is.
On January 9th, Carter’s birth date, I was stolen away from the superficial things of this world and entered the most peaceful chapter of my life yet. My soul is refreshed by Carter’s innocence and purity. I am renewed in my hope for things to change. And I am reminded of the way things should have been with the conception of mankind. When I pray with my son for the babies of this world, painfully aware that many lives are not like ours, I am not merely wishing. It’s not a Hail Mary pass, it’s not a tribute to John Lennon’s Imagine, it’s not due to a wistful imagination. Underneath each spoken word, I am asking that this unaware baby in my arms would grow up to conquer the giants of our time. Were I to be asked for my greatest wish, it would not be for the preservation of my son’s comfort and innocence. It would be that he’d engage with what is not and fight to return us to the place we have lost.
Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight.