Newborn babies don’t do anything. Well except for poop, eat, sleep, stare and cry. They can’t move their body or even lift their head. They don’t go to work, school, volunteer, or the bathroom. They need help with every human function from eating, to dressing, to bathing, and they snooze much of the day away.
But nevertheless, I can not quite describe the feelings of love that I felt the first time I held my sweet Anna in all her unproductive glory. There were a lot of crazy things going on in that first moment (another story for another day), but there was nothing like the delight and peace that I felt. It was wonder, amazement, adoration. Like a glimpse of heaven, she was definitely shining God’s crazy glory. It experienced a love so fierce, so unlike any other.
So where the heck do these tiny babies receive their worth? They don’t do anything, and yet even in the hard moments it is very clear that they are something precious. Is it that they are new and exciting? Or maybe it is that they are so dang cute?
These reasons don’t even begin to scratch the surface. Something in us realizes that this is God’s creation, something sacred. Not too dissimilar from the wonder we feel in a burning sunset ablaze on a mountain landscape or the staggering height of impossibly tall trees. The mountains, trees, and baby’s mere presence is an arrow toward God’s greatness. This is the awe-factor. That something so spectacular could have been created.
But the source of Anna’s value, unlike in nature, lies in even more than just being the creation of God, it is also that she is a child of God. Created in the image and likeness of love itself (Gen 1:27). Her value and dignity is not tied to what she can do or contribute, but rather her substance, what she is. Anna just like every person holds dignity and value in the fact that they are being, that God willed thier creation.
This conclusion of inherit worth is easy to recognize when I am staring at my sweet little girl, but it is hard to transfer the innate value that I see in her as a child of God into the way I look at my own life. In the days, weeks, or even seasons when I do not feel useful, productive, or presentable enough, I immediately see myself as less valuable. I feel I am not useful when I am not adding anything tangible to the world. How I let this lie creep in continuously I will never know.
But holding my sweet baby girl for the first time reminded me of the delight our creator has in me. Just as I laid out Anna across the bed and examined her little toes and brushed her sweet cheeks so does my God delight in me. Smiling and loving me not because of my productivity, but instead because I am His creation and His dearly loved daughter. Can you just see him holding you up saying “look, look at Amy, isn’t she just delightful!”
The more I humble myself to see my value in the things given rather than produced, the more I am able to praise God.
So whether you are a mama confined to a bed with morning sickness, a college grad earnestly looking for work, a retiree finding your place post career, or going about a daily or weekly routine that feels monotonous. Know that seasons when you feel least productive are opportunities to dive deeper in to God’s free gift of love and delight and to recognize the source of our deep worth. This love and worth are not something we can merit or produce, but something we each possess as a matter of our existence.
Today try to find some time to just sit still and not do anything. Let God love you, cherish you, and hold you close as his glorious creation, created for life with him.