Restrained in a contraption that looked like a transformer from a Star Wars film, the little boy – not more than five or six – could not hold his head up or keep his body upright. The u-shaped pillow meant to support his neck was to no avail and try as he might, his head slumped hopelessly in his lap. His father, wanting him to witness the proceedings at the Christmas Eve service gently held his son’s head upright as he rub his forehead and stroked his hair. The smile on his Father’s face was priceless. The love in his eyes for his little boy could be measured in tons not pounds. Their bond was inseparable. There were no excuses, no signs of embarrassment, simply a father loving his little boy.
As the service progressed, it seemed to be too hard for the boy to remain comfortably in his “chair” so his father took him in his arms and held him for the bulk of the service. Seemingly oblivious to what was going on around him, the boy snuggled his head under his father’s chin and appeared to be content. He was in his father’s arms. The security and strength of his dad was all he needed in order to relax.
Watching this play out in front of me, it seemed to add meaning to an otherwise “traditional” Christmas Eve service. Being present to watch unconditional love in action helped me understand more of the Father’s love. A love that released His son into a world that would soon – much too soon – handicap His son with the nails of a cross. Nevertheless, the Father’s love was supreme. It was unhindered, except to be received.
Yes, over two thousand years ago a baby’s cry pierced the silence of the night and a Father’s love became Immanuel. A love song which found its first notes written several thousand years before the infant child now had someone who would sing the final verse of the salvation’s song. Even though the world-hater tried to drown the song with the cacophony of human suffering it would be to no avail. Jesus would sing the final verse and a Father’s love would be complete for all who would hear the song.