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The Advent Series-Day Twenty

Day 20: Ten Toes

Luke 2:52 “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.”

A sheep by a manger with a baby.

Copyright All images & writing © 2018 Charis Seed Photography All rights reserved

It’s a tradition that is a part of every culture. Count a baby’s toes. The most common result is ten. Ten toes. We’re fascinated by our babies. They are cute and so tiny. There’s a constant disbelief that we were ever that small. And there’s the constant hope that our baby will grow up to someone like us. Or maybe someone greater than us. Counting those toes gives us s small reassurance that the baby we hold in our arms is growing and headed for great places.

Counting toes is a quick check to make sure our child is safe and whole. That’s everything is in order. No detail has been overlooked. It’s also awe-filled admiration of God’s craftsmanship. We squint to study the intricate patterns on the tips of each toe.

Imagine Mary...she counts her baby’s toes. His fingers too. She studies the hair on His head. “Joseph, do you think Jesus’ head has a funny shape? Right here, do you think it bulges here?” She’s just like every mom. Boo-boos are kissed. Knee scrapes are hugged away. She stands at the doorway the first time Jesus runs an errand down the street and watches him until he slips out of sight and stands guard till he comes back. She holds Him and she protects Him.

For most of His years Jesus is not in public ministry. For the lion’s share of His life, Jesus is the beloved son of Joseph and Mary. Jesus has ten toes like everyone else and like everyone else He has to grow up. He suffers bumps and bruises. He goes through scrapes. Mary is there for it all. But what could be the purpose in all these years that go unrecorded? Jesus was in heaven. He was perfect. Yet, He sheds that perfection to come to earth and be a helpless baby. He grows. He waits 30 years to show off miracles. The only summary we get is “Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.”

God was showing His heart to Mary in those years.

Mary felt the immediate instinct to protect Jesus. Like every parent, she would do anything to make sure nothing happened to even one of His ten toes. Having a child is like having your heart outside of your body. The part of you that can be hurt the most now toddles around vulnerable. In these years where Mary watches over Jesus, God is showing Mary how deep His love truly is. She would do anything to keep harm from coming to her son. And yet she knows that His Heavenly Father loves her son a thousand times more.

Still, God will do the unthinkable, He will offer up His Son, His own Heart, to deliver us all.

What would you give up to show love to someone else? God is inviting us to give much less than He has already endured for us. Let us show gratitude for His gift in what we choose to give to others.

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Copyright All images & writing © 2018 Charis Seed Photography

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