Thursday, January 3, 2008

Choosing dependence

The diapering, the feeding, the carrying, the caring for. We tend to think of those things from the perspective of a parent or other adult who is doing these things. What must it be like to be the baby, the recipient of the care?

My earliest memories, brief and vague as they are, are from when I was about 2. Maybe it's good we don't remember back any further. Maybe it wouldn't be pleasant. Or maybe it wouldn't be so bad since we didn't know any differently at the time.

Much harder to be an adult, one who has tasted the freedom of independence, and return to being cared for. Dependent. How fragile, how convincing is the thin veneer of independence. The myth that we can survive on our own is one we take in greedily. The truth of our dependence is hard to stomach because it sheds light on the fact that we are not the all-capable beings we so desire to be. In fact, we are vulnerable, weak, human.

What I can't stop thinking about - though Christmas has come and gone - is God's choice to become a baby. The one truly independent, not limited, all-capable being chose dependence. Chose to be cared for, carried, fed, diapered. Chose the limitations, sorrows and indignities of being human. Chose to become like us in order to save us from ourselves. The more I learn about caring for another individual and ponder what it must be like to be so utterly reliant, the more I understand the sacrifice of choosing that state. The love behind choosing humanity.

I know it's January 3rd. But Merry Christmas.

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Photos: 1) By Kudaker. Creative Commons License. 2) By World of Oddy. Creative Commons License.

1 comment:

What do you have to say about that?