Recently, I decided to write an article about someone who deserves to be commemorated. The first person to pop into my head was my five-week-old granddaughter, not some famous person who has accomplished great deeds.
What I found most startling about this little person, called Lila, was a look of utter surprise as she surveyed the world. When Lila turned at the sound of my voice and looked at me for the first time, her eyes widen suddenly in recognition. It was if she thought, "Ah, so this is what you look like. I remember your voice."
She remembered the sound of my voice from her time in the womb, and at 6 hours old, finally put a face to that voice. This interaction brought to mind the reaction of John the Baptist, leaping with joy in the womb of his mother, Elizabeth, as she greeted a pregnant Mary.
When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42And she cried out with a loud voice and said, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!… (Luke 1:41-42)
It was the unborn baby who recognized Jesus initially, not his mother Elizabeth! Biblical women understood more about their babies developing spirits than most modern women. They spent much of their pregnancies saturating their unborn infants with the Spirit as they read and sang the Psalms.
Lila has been thrust out from the safety and security of the womb into a huge, cold world, with bright lights and loud abrasive sounds. She is wise, an old soul who connects with my spirit when we look at each other. It would be an unnerving experience, if it were not so profoundly sweet.The words of C.S. Lewis reverberate within me: "You do not have a soul. You ARE a soul. You have a body."
Although Lila's body is helpless and fragile, she is a person, albeit a little person, with a definite personality. The looks we exchange with each other are not fleeting, but penetrating, because our eyes truly are the windows of our souls. Without words, we recognize each other as sisters, fellow travellers who have come from God, who are made from the same stuff. This soul knows I see past appearances, right to her true self, just as she sees past my appearance right to my core, my inner spirit.
So I salute this brave person.In fact, I salute all infants for bravery in the face of powerlessness, as they begin their life on earth.
Have you ever experienced a spiritual relationship, spirit to spirit with a baby? I encourage pregnant mothers to bless, love, and nurture their unborn babies. Do you have any experience with this biblical custom? What do you think about blessing the unborn?
Copyright 2013 Melanie Jean Juneau
About the Author
Melanie Jean Juneau is a mother of nine children who blogs at joy of nine9. Her writing is humorous and heart-warming; thoughtful and thought-provoking. Part of her call and her witness is to write the truth about children, family, marriage and the sacredness of life. Melanie is the administrator of ACWB, the Editor in Chief at CatholicLane, CatholicStand, Catholic365 , CAPC & author of Echoes of the Divine.