The tale of two babies

baby boy

I hold a precious baby boy on one day at one place,
and a sweet baby girl another day, another place.

One, while his mama packs up donated canned goods and diapers and his daddy looks for a job, as they wait for a ride back to the hotel where they stay until they can afford their own apartment.

The other, while her mama works in a skilled position and her daddy finishes a project for medical school, and we play with her baby cellphone in her living room until I rock her to sleep in my lap.

On different days, in different places:

baby girl

  • Both smile when we play peek-a-boo.
  • Both reach to chew on the drawstring of my jacket.
  • Both hear me called Aunt Lisa (though only one is blood relative).

For now, when people see either of them, they baby talk and declare, “So beautiful!”

But how much longer?

On which day, in what place, instead of two adorable babies, will the world start seeing one as a street kid and the other as a homecoming queen?

Will they be treated differently:

  • When one wears only hand-me-downs and the other smells like bubble bath?
  • When one has dirty teeth and the other shiny colored braces?
  • When one is on free lunch and the other pays cash?

Is one destined for poverty and the other for opportunity?

Will discrimination and privilege stay on separate tracks?

Through no fault or no merit of their own, are their courses in life, while not set, already highly predictable?

Oh, for the vision of God.
To see all as made in his image.

Oh, for the hope of God.
To believe all things are possible.

Oh, for the love of God.
To give grace to all the same.

. . . regardless of rags or riches, of scarcity or surplus, of housing or education or parentage.

On which day, in what place, can the paths of these two babies ever cross?

Oh, Lord, have mercy . . . .

baby hand

* * *
Be the grace. Hug your baby a little tighter today. Hug someone else’s baby a little tighter, too. Pray for them both.

Who in your world needs extra compassion? How can you lessen discrimination in your circle of influence? Please share.

23 thoughts on “The tale of two babies

  1. floyd

    Chilling and raw. I think about these things often. What or why one is appointed an easier life… but all in not as it seems. The world now, even in upper middle class neighborhoods are ending up with kids dying or in prison for trying to support their heroin addiction.

    I too pray for the turning of a nation as a whole back to our Father so that he might heal our nation… one baby at a time. You captured something very big here, Lisa. I think you’re called to something big.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      “…all is not as it seems” – truth. What we see on the outside doesn’t always reveal what’s going on inside. But at the foot of the cross, all things are possible–that’s what I keep reminding myself. Regardless of our starts in life, good or bad, God can do miracles. I appreciate that you’re a man of prayer and hope, Floyd. That matters so much.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I don’t know that I’m making a difference anywhere, Dolly, but I do have hope that God can turn even bad situations into good ones. I heard a great story yesterday about a young man who grew up in horrible conditions yet turned his life over to Christ in his 20s and was transformed forever.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I really do wonder how we would live our lives if we truly had the vision of God. I know we can’t totally do it in our fleshly bodies, but I also know I could do lots better….

  2. Jen Ferguson

    Lisa, I think this is incredibly profound and just opens my eyes to see these stories contrasted side by side. Oh, would I see with His eyes, despite the curtains of the world shading my Light? This post just invigorates me and encourages to see beyond.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Seeing both these babies back to back always stands out in stark contrast to me too. I’m afraid one will slip away from me due to circumstances and I may never know what happens, but I trust God to use his people to take care of him wherever he goes. I know you do “see beyond”, Jen, and I’m thankful for you.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      You’re exactly right, Joanne–we never know the difference that even small things can make in a person’s life. I think of “little” things that people have said or done for my good that I remember years later. I count them as big.

  3. Debbie

    So beautiful and yet so true! I look that way at the little children in my Pre-K 3 class. What will happen to them? What will they become? I often silently pray for them as they are taking their naps in our classroom after lunch. They come from so many different backgrounds and faiths. I pray that they would one day come to know Jesus.

    Blessings and love,

  4. Trudy

    Deep thoughts, Lisa. It’s so sad to think about what may lie ahead for children. The bullying or prejudices they may have to endure. I’m sure Jesus’ heart already breaks for them. There’s a verse in a song by Hillsong that I sometimes pray – “Show me how to love like You have loved me. Break my heart for what breaks Yours.”

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Beautiful lyrics, Trudy. Thanks for sharing those. And that makes me think of the song by Brandon Heath, “Give Me Your Eyes”…

      “I’ve been there a million times
      A couple of million eyes
      Just move and pass me by
      I swear I never thought that I was wrong
      Well I want a second glance
      So give me a second chance
      To see the way You’ve seen the people all along”

      I’m glad God gives us multiple chances to see like he sees.

  5. Beth Werner Lee

    Small act: I smile lovingly at all babies and their attendants, and I’ve been learning about kids in pain. The English class of 7 (middle schoolers) I teach has been reading the Tillerman books by Cynthia Voigt, have you read them? Dicey’s song, the second is a must-read, Newberry award. Voigt has such wisdom and she introduces the poor kids so we can see what they are up against. She also has a fairly rich kid who has been burned by his parents’ divorce show steady compassionate love to Dicey through the series. Homecoming is the first book of the seven. Have fun!!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’ve heard of the books but I don’t think I’ve ever read them. Maybe my daughters have. But they sound delightful. I’m glad you shared them with me so I can look them up. I’m also glad people like you work with children! It makes the world a better place for all of us. Thanks, Beth.

  6. Patty

    I always make a point to read what you write now in the Faith Jam link up. Thank you for this. It is truth and we need to contemplate these hard things and we need to be the hands and eyes and heart of God in all these lives where we are able.
    God bless you and your writing. Keep it up!
    ~ Patty

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