“Do you want a chance to peek through God’s eyes for a moment?” I asked our befuddled children as their daddy stepped into his doctor role and oozed a cold clear gel onto my slightly protruding stomach. With a knowing smile, he flipped the switch on a machine that looked strangely like a small television. Expectantly, we watched the waiting faces. A mysterious scavenger hunt had led us here, to an empty clinic room, in the quiet of a summer’s night in June of 2006.
A family picnic at the park had quickly turned into an adventure as I had given each child a type-written riddle and a small gift wrapped in tissue paper. A package of tiny white socks had accompanied the cryptic message about two little feet that would soon run across the backyard. A vinyl baby bib had preceded the note about a new mouth that would join our mealtime “chatter and chew.” And a Bible marked to Psalm 139 had served as the finale reminding our children of God’s wonderful works. The gift-wrapped clues had seemed obvious to me as I sheltered the twelve-week-old fetus in my womb, but our unsuspecting children remained confused as we flipped on the ultrasound screen and their daddy moved the probe over my stomach.
“What is that?” my doctor-husband asked as a wiggling grey shape appeared on the screen. The kids stared mystified. Then the baby’s tiny arm moved in a timely wave.
“It’s a baby!” seven-year-old Luke whispered with astonishment. His eyes moved from the screen to the sight of his dad’s fingers resting on the ultrasound probe atop of my stomach. Suddenly, my firstborn made the connection. “It’s OUR BABY!” he declared loudly while his sisters clapped their hands in glee and I blinked back unexpected tears.
Then for a moment, we all gazed upon the handiwork of God dancing across the miniature screen. “Isn’t it fun to look through God’s eyes?” I asked my spellbound trio.
Later that night as I tucked my tired children into bed, my five-year-old daughter Lizzy said to me, “Mom, it is fun to see through God’s eyes. But it would be more fun to read His mind! He already knows WHO our baby is.”
And so He did. From the moment of conception, God knew that the unexpected gift of our fourth-born was a tractor-loving boy with a shy grin and a contagious zest for life. He knew that Joshua David was the brother for which my eldest son had steadfastly prayed for five years. He knew that this little boy would capture his sisters’ hearts and offer his Daddy a second chance to enjoy fatherhood with a newborn. God knew already as we peered at the gray blob of life on that ultrasound screen that this one little boy-created and chosen by Him-would bring a certain mother to her knees in prayer and would deliver unsolicited joy to our entire family.
Yes, God KNOWS. He knows the shape and the story of our lives long before we take our first breath. As King David so eloquently penned in Psalm 139:15-16: “You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”
As Advent begins, I am once again awed by the realization that the Savior whose birth we celebrate began as a "gray blob of life." The HOPE God knew we needed from the conception of time was wrapped in amniotic fluid and placed in the womb of a humble girl. Long before ultra-sound machines gave us glimpses of emerging life, the Author of Life gave us a glimpse of His love through the surprising gift of a baby boy. Divinity wrapped in skin. Scandalous grace! May we seek to know His mind as we seek to know His son.
The Overflow: "In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
-Luke 1: 27-33