And with his arrival the teaching comes, thick and fast. The babe is God's gospel of life spelled out all anew for us. Our love for the babe tells of the other father-mother love. What can equal the love for the babe among almost all classes of people? The unwearying attendance, the broken sleep, sometimes the sleepless nights, the dropping of everything else to attend to his wants, the tender touch, the yearning of heart over him, the ceaseless breathing out of love in the innumerable ways and things in which the human heart reveals itself,—is there any human love quite like it?
That's a bit of the babe's gospel teaching. That is the way God feels toward us, only He is so much more. His is the original love. All of our love for the babe is breathed down into us by Him. There's much more, and much tenderer and stronger where this comes from. We have not exhausted the supply, nor made it less, nor poorer in quality.
And then the babe's helplessness is a great teaching. His helplessness is really pathetic. He can't do a thing for himself except breathe and suck milk. And the breathing is involuntary. And the milk must be put into his mouth for him. Everything must be done for him, including his thinking. His very helpless dependence teaches the listening heart continually.
All unconsciously our babe-teacher is saying, "this is what you're like." And the more we listen to him and think, the more we realize the startling truth of this little, God-sent preacher's message. The strongest, most self-reliant of us is utterly helpless of himself. The very breath of life is being actually supplied to us all the time by Another. We are just as dependent upon Him as the babe upon his parents. Without attention and care the child would quickly die. Without our Father's constant care we would as surely slip the tether of life.
And of course helplessness spells trust. The babe trusts absolutely. What else can he do? He must live a life of trust from the first breath on. And that is God's plan for us. We grow in knowledge and in ability, and in skill in managing our affairs, but we never grow beyond the need of trusting as fearlessly, and fully, and in as practical ways, as the babe must do.
And both the helplessness and trust tell of the other side, a Helper, and One who can be trusted. God is "a very present help in trouble," (Psa_46:1 <http://www.crossbooks.com/verse.asp?ref=Ps+46:1> and when there is no trouble that we know about. And He can be trusted. God is absolutely trustworthy and dependable.
And the babe purity tells of the Father's plan for us, and of His eager yearning, and more, of what He will do for us if He may. Whatever of evil may come into one's life, comes in after he leaves the creating hand of God. We were made pure, though of course with the possibility of sin in our freedom of choice. Whether there be any taint of original sin in the babe, and just what that means, we may safely leave entirely with the theologians to thresh out behind seminary walls. It is enough practically for us to remember that God reckons only with our choices. He made us pure. He longs to have us pure. He will remake us pure in heart, and increasingly pure in life, if we'll but let Him. The babe is our sweet unconscious teacher here.
And this babe-preacher plainly includes sacrifice in his teaching. Life can come only as another's life is given. Sometimes it comes only as the other life is given utterly out. This is one of the saddest of life's tragedies, when the mother goes as the babe comes. But even when that extreme is spared, still life costs life. Life comes out of life, and always with suffering. There can be no life without sacrifice. It will not be difficult for the thoughtful father and mother, in the lamplight of their own experience, to find enough letters in the word "cradle," brought to them by their babe, to spell out the infinitely greater word "Calvary."
And life can continue only as life is given continually, and can become strong only as strength is given out of a strong life. A wonderful preacher is this babe fresh from the school of God.
And so the teaching goes on more and more as the tender month-counting stage runs into the only less tender year-counting telling of age. Through all the fascinations of change and growth from infancy up to young manhood and womanhood it constantly changes, but never quits.