In the middle of the night, when all is dark and all is calm, and I am tired and trying to hold open my heavy eyes, I behold my newborn son and gaze down upon his small silhouette, his little life. In the darkness, I feed him. I change him. I burp him. I cradle him. I lull him. When I am done and simply stay there to hold him, I feel his hand on mine. Holding my finger, he grasps to keep me in his grip. And though he is but two months old, his hold on my hand is unbelievably strong, and it is both a mystery and a miracle to feel the cling of his clutch wrapped around the thin of my finger.
One year ago, when the pandemic put a pause on the world, I found myself announcing that it did not put a pause on God’s plan for my family, for life swelled and swirled within me. It was a gift, even in the middle of so much grief. And I could not have known then that when I chose to name the child within, he would really live up to the meaning of his name — that even at two months old, he would show himself to be small but strong.
Aaro is his name. Of all the different variations of meaning his name holds, “mountain of strength” is the one we chose because we want for him to see himself just as a mountain — to see and know he is not a small or hidden or helpless thing.
On a day like today when I am thinking about the mystery and miracle of might showing through the smallness of my son, I cannot help but hear hope for the here and now: Those of us who feel small and insignificant and unseen are, in fact, seen and loved greatly by the One who created the greatest galaxies.
He sees us for who and how we are and shines through us with a strength we could never imagine ourselves.
Even as I write this, I feel small and spineless myself. Small, because I cannot stop the never-ending news of all of the recent disease and death. Small, because there is so much more work to do — work to do in the world and work to do within my own hurting and helpless heart.
But the gospel truth is that there is more to the story than just the way we feel and the way things seem.
Even while we come up feeling little from all of the living and loving and losing, our lives are still marked with the miraculous stories of God displaying His might through the small — of young David defeating giant Goliath, of Gideon’s three hundred victorious in battle against the thousands, of Jesus seeing the short man named Zacchaeus, of lost little coins and their significant worth, of the widow’s mite being more than enough, of a baby in Bethlehem born to bear witness to the greatness of God.
God’s might is the mystery and the miracle working in and through our smallness.
And it is never to shame us. Rather, it is to show us that He is powerfully compassionate, kind, and good.
So, here is a truth to behold, a truth to cling to as you strain for something to show for your smallness, something to cover and camouflage those things that make you feel any measure of less-than: Hold every feeling of insignificance, insecurity, and inadequacy in faith, knowing that the holy One who once came close to save you is also the One who looks deep within and esteems you.
Believe it in your bones, in your brain, and in your blood, however small or unseen you may feel.
Our God sees you, and He shines with might in and through you.