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Yesterday I shared the story of my daughter Kara’s “miraculous” silence when, as a seven-week-old baby, she played the baby Jesus in our church’s Christmas Eve pageant. No crying she makes? Indeed!
There’s another chapter in that story.
Except for the times in the early evening when Kara cried uncontrollably, she was a happy baby during her first weeks of life. In fact, she smiled earlier than many babies do. I can even supply proof. The photo to the right shows Kara about about six weeks of age. I’m holding her. My wife, Linda, is taking the picture.
I was the lucky recipient of most of Kara’s early smiles. I’d jiggle her on my lap or speak happily to her and she’d smile right back. As you can imagine, I was one happy daddy!
We had a wee bit of a problem, however. Kara did not smile for her mother. The person who carried her for nine months and gave birth to her. The one who spent about half of her waking hours feeding her. The one who loved Kara passionately and sacrificially was not getting a smile. As you can imagine, Linda felt rather sad about this, maybe even hurt. She knew enough not to take it too seriously. But, still, she was desperate for even a little smile from Kara.
On Christmas Eve, Kara played the baby Jesus in the church pageant. As I explained yesterday, she was miraculously quite during the whole performance. That was fantastic. But she still didn’t smile at Linda.
On Christmas morning, Linda was holding Kara in her lap, talking to her and smiling at her. All of a sudden Kara smiled with the biggest smile ever. Her face burst forth with joy. Linda spoke urgently to me: “Mark, she’s smiling!!” I took one glance and then looked around for my camera. It was nowhere to be found. I ran back into our bedroom, where I finally located my camera. I sprinted back to the family room, sure that Kara would have stopped smiling. But, no, there she was, beaming at her mommy.
Did Kara know it was Christmas? I don’t think so. Did she realize that a smile for her mother would be the best Christmas present ever? I doubt it. But there it was, plain for all to see (including you, note the photo to the right).
Was this a Christmas miracle? Perhaps. The same God who came to dwell among us in the baby Jesus might very well have helped an infant girl smile at her mother on Christmas morning. Why not?
May you experience the real miracle of Christmas, the truth and love of God in Jesus Christ, the Word Incarnate!