(Note: I'm including a couple of pictures which obviously are not current. But they do capture some of the wonder of a sleeping baby--even if she's a bit bigger than she used to be.)
Nothing in this world is quite as sweet
As a tiny baby fast asleep
I could watch you till the end of time
'Specially when the baby is mine
That just about sums it up for me. I get to see Meg's face in all kinds of expressions during the day--sheer delight, anger, frustration, anticipation, and more. But there is something amazing about watching a baby's face in the repose of sleep. I don't know what it is. But it is one of the sweetest, most absorbing activities I know.
Holding my daughter those two nights, I felt her body twitch and quiver before it settled into deep relaxation. I noticed the way her brown lashes rest on her cheek and how her skin looks rosy and incredibly soft, even in the dimmest light. I listened to her tiny snore, brought on by a weekend cold. I rested my forehead against hers and felt the whisper of her breath against my face.
And last night, in the midst of it all, I realized that this thing called mother love is--despite its beauty and weight--an incredibly small thing. I sat there, with this powerful affection filling my heart, and saw how it was dwarfed by the awesome love of God. Mother love is wonderful and priceless--I believe that it's one reflection of God's own love. But compared to the love that God shows to men, even the purest, noblest, most ardent forms of love that we humans experience are just a shadow, an echo.
After all, God gave His Son to save me from my sin. Now just think: if God loved His Son Jesus as dearly as I love my little girl, voluntarily giving Him up to die would be an unimaginable sacrifice. But God, who is perfect, loves Jesus with a perfect love--a love that knows no impatience, no selfishness, no anger, no shadow of anything impure. And while Meg and I are often separated momentarily by the imperfections of our love for each other, God and Jesus were never, ever separated by sin--not even for a moment. And still God chose to send His Son to earth as a man, to let Him suffer and die at the hands of other men and, finally, to punish Him with the punishment that my sin deserved. This is a sacrifice infinitely greater than any that I could ever venture. "For one will scarcely die for a righteous person--though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die--but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:7-8) God gave up His Son because of His love for me. I know that that is the greatest act of love that has ever, will ever take place.
How deep the Father's love for us,
How vast beyond all measure--
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch his treasure.