God. O infant-God. Heaven’s fairest child. Conceived by the union of divine grace with our disgrace. Sleep well.
Sleep well. Bask in the coolness of this night bright with diamonds. Sleep well, for the heat of anger simmers nearby. Enjoy the silence of the crib, for the noise of confusion rumbles in your future. Savor the sweet safety of my arms, for a day is soon coming when I cannot protect you.
Rest well, tiny hands. For though you belong to a king, you will touch no satin, own no gold. You will grasp no pen, guide no brush. No, your tiny hands are reserved for works more precious:
to touch a leper’s open wound,
to wipe a widow’s weary tear,
to claw the ground of Gethsemane.
Your hands, so tiny, so tender, so white—clutched tonight in an infant’s fist. They aren’t destined to hold a scepter nor wave from a palace balcony. They are reserved instead for a Roman spike that will staple them to a Roman cross.
Sleep deeply, tiny eyes. Sleep while you can. For soon the blurriness will clear and you will see the mess we have made of your world.
O eyes that will see hell’s darkest pit and witness her ugly prince … sleep, please sleep; sleep while you can.
Lay still, tiny mouth. Lay still mouth from which eternity will speak.
Tiny tongue that will soon summon the dead,
that will define grace,
that will silence our foolishness.
Rosebud lips—upon which ride a starborn kiss of forgiveness to those who believe you, and of death to those who deny you—lay still.
And tiny feet cupped in the palm of my hand, rest. For many difficult steps lie ahead for you.
Rest, tiny feet. Rest today so that tomorrow you might walk with power. Rest. For millions will follow in your steps.
And little heart … holy heart … pumping the blood of life through the universe: How many times will we break you?
You’ll be torn by the thorns of our accusations.
You’ll be ravaged by the cancer of our sin.
You’ll be crushed under the weight of your own sorrow.
And you’ll be pierced by the spear of our rejection.
Yet in that piercing, in that ultimate ripping of muscle and membrane, in that final rush of blood and water, you will find rest. Your hands will be freed, your eyes will see justice, your lips will smile, and your feet will carry you home.
And there you’ll rest again—this time in the embrace of your Father.
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From Christmas Stories: Heartwarming Classics of Angels, a Manger, and the Birth of Hope
Copyright (Thomas Nelson, 2011) Max Lucado
Listen to UpWords with Max Lucado at OnePlace.com