Where Do You Find Rest?
Two weeks ago, my son entered the world.
It took a lot of work to get him here, including 20 hours of labor, an emergency c-section, and a ton of healing. When the doctor pulled him from my womb, it was clear my baby had been through the wringer. His forehead protruded outward over his swollen-shut eyes, the back of his head flopped to the side like a smashed melon, and bruises blotched every inch of his face.
It’s no wonder when he arrived, all he wanted to do was sleep (praise the good Lord!)
He’d fall asleep in the hospital incubator, bundled tightly in blankets spotted with blue and pink footprints. He’d find comfort in the arms of friends and family, barely waking as they passed him from one person to the next. He even slept cozily in the arms of night nurses whom he’d never met.
Over time, the injuries from labor and delivery faded away. The swelling was first to recede, then the bruises. Bit by bit, my son’s face—who he really was—began to emerge.
I smiled down at his healing face, his head too heavy for his narrow neck, and cradled him in the crook of my elbow.
This was my favorite of all his resting spots. Right there in my arms, close enough to feel his choppy breaths on my skin. Close enough to admire my handheld miracle as he whimpered and adjusted himself in my arms.
Before my eyes, I witnessed the wounds lift from his cheeks, his lips, his forehead—as though the damage simply evaporated into the air, leaving behind the gentle, spotless skin of a newborn.
Deformity to perfection. All he had to do was rest.
Where do I rest? I wondered after nearly 36 hours of no sleep.
In my delirium, I pictured myself trying to get cozy in the folds of my wallet, constantly distressed by its lack of cushion. All too often, I toss and turn there, unable to relax, as suffocation sucks life from my chest.
If only I could pad the pockets, I could rest easier, I lie.
But the truth is I typically squirm out of the arms of the One who offers true rest.
Only when I lay my weary-laden head in the crook of my Father’s elbow can I truly find peace. Only then can the swelling of my sin recede. Bit by bit, my face—who I was really created to be—begins to emerge.
He smiles down at my healing face, my head too heavy for my weakened spirit, as He cradles me.
This is His favorite of all my resting spots. Right there in His arms, close enough to feel my breath grow calm against his Sacred Heart. Close enough to admire His miraculous handiwork as I whimper and adjust myself in His arms.
He gazes into my small face and then lifts the wounds of sin, leaving behind the gentle, spotless skin of a newborn.
Deformity to perfection.
All I have to do is rest in Him.