A year ago during my Master of Social Work program, I interned with an organization that offered support to new mothers in Durham. I learned a lot more than I offered during that experience.
I would venture to say being a new mom is perhaps one of life's greatest challenges. The stress of mothers we spent time with was so layered. Emergencies were never cushioned by a savings account or a church family that organized a meal train. Often the shame of having a child at a young age by an unknown father meant dropping out of school or putting up a tough exterior. Frequently the threat of eviction loomed large because two minimum wage jobs was not enough.
And yet the hours I spent with each family were some of most holy moments I've experienced.
During one particular home visit, I found myself sitting in the bedroom of a young mother barely in high school, holding her newborn child. Her baby struggled to sleep and was very fussy. That afternoon we learned the ancient art of swaddling together. The result was amazing. Once the baby was wrapped snug and secure, and the cloth was tucked in tight, the baby fell fast asleep.
Through those experiences and a variety of others last year I wrote down the chords and lyrics to a song. The chorus' melody is sung in a circle, an image of the all-embracing, swaddling arms of God, and an answer to the question, "Will you save me?"
I continue to wonder about God as a baby, helpless and dependent on his mother. The Great King becomes a tiny thing. The Mighty One becomes small and young. Perhaps it is this reality that will save us ... that is saving us?
The lyrics of "Come, Sweet Baby" are included below. It will be performed at the 4pm Christmas Eve Service.
Round and round the hills
Lay still the night
In a barn they heard
A strange new cry
Oh Lord, you know my plight
Please hold these swollen, dark nights
The One the Lord loves most is mine
Come, sweet baby
Will you save me?
Small and young!
Come Lord Jesus
Will you save us?
Oh, Great King,
Do not fear, I bring
Good news for all
You will find the Christ
The Child of God
Wrapped in wonder, a bed of straw
Makes me wonder! And stand in awe
A child will lead, He’ll lead us all
Come sweet baby…
My soul magnifies
My spirit rejoices
For my being holds the One
We have waited, now He’s come
Come sweet baby…