From silence to sounds to succinctly hearing… watch this video it’s short… As I watch this child moved beyond words, moved beyond comprehension for an infant, stirred in a way that her eyes the windows of her soul comprehends, the words: I love you. I feel like I am watching a piece of theology on the web. With the beauty of this discovery that her senses were full a tuned for the first time. This is stirring because it is this mother saying those words to her baby and their woven connection now expanded and whole. It’s so endlessly intimate and particular. Watching that baby cry is so jarring: are infants capable of such wise, seemingly reflective, emotion? I believe so, because she has a soul and spirit in this beautiful package of life. The baby is comprehending something she has never experienced, and her emotion is stirred intensely within this loving interweaving of heart and soul with the hearing of her mother’s voice saying simply: “I love you.”
As I watch this video, I tear up because we are all deaf infants, who seem to not hear the voice of God continually telling us that we are loved beyond all comprehension. This little one’s hearing and seeing and facial reaction to the love and tears of her mother are part of the wonder and emotion we feel. Sehnsucht – is a German noun translated as “longing,” “yearning,” or “craving,” or in the broader sense, a type of desire that is renewed deep from within us at the slightest nudge of our heart. It is the same sense you get when you breathe in for the first time the cold crispness of fall, and your mind starts racing over the fallen leaves of childhood and laughter. Then at least with me, I hear the sounds echoing of those that are now not with us, those that laughed at seeing the antics of a young boy’s innocence. In hearing their loving voices resonant in my heart as I race in youthful forward motion in life, without knowing what the tomorrows hold. Or seeing the smile on the one you love for the first time, that’s when Sehnsucht-happens.
It reminds us that being loved is this compelling, it is this incomprehensible and yet so miraculous and can be known. What could be more natural: for a mother to love her child? This doesn’t seem like a striking miracle that should reduce this baby to weeping, and yet, of course, she does, because she sees and hears love. To be loved like this is our deepest desire, and for that desire to be met surely reduces us to tears.
This infant is us, loved beyond measure by God.
Our tears are because this is such a clear and striking image of calling: this is who we can be to others—we can bring others to life through love. Yes, God is the author of life, but we bring others to life, we offer them true and real life, by bringing them into love. Love is the watermark in the parchment of our existence, writes Balthasar, I would add to his truth that it is that watermarked paper on which God writes His story about us and interlaces it into His story. We are made to exist in an economy of love. we can awaken it in others, we can open them up into love. Just as we are brought into being by love, we offer others the identity of the beloved. It is so simple. It is purely one mother telling her one child that she is loved. But then again this is the world being recreated in front of our eyes. The infant’s eyes widen, and we watch a child’s sense wonder of sounding love.
This is who and what we are as human beings: human beings created for love, created for relationship, and here, at this moment—this is a child who didn’t even know that these sounds of love, could exist and suddenly this entire reality of love seems to open before her eyes. In her infant self, she is hearing and though she may not communicate with words, her whole being expresses the magnitude of this discovery.
Do we? Or have we moved on from the miracle of love into cheap trinket thrills and lost the miraculous, in our worried quest for more other stuff. Listen to Ephesians 4:14-21, hear it afresh – Know – the miracle again, renewed, restored, and then recover the magnitude of this miracle of love!