Friday, April 19 2024 - 10:11 AM
woman holding baby
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Shushing the Baby

Several years ago, as I anticipated our first grandchild’s arrival, I brushed up on my baby skills. A young friend loaned me a popular and helpful DVD about how to quiet and calm an infant. The pediatrician in the video does a good job of explaining infant development. He states that babies are still incomplete in many ways, especially their nervous systems. (Babies have to come a little early since their heads would be too big for birthing otherwise!) So after delivery, most of them can’t control their limbs, startle easily, and have difficulty controlling their crying. Yet he encourages that there are ways to help babies calm themselves. He teaches a proper technique for wrapping an infant in a blanket. Then he talks about how to “shush” a baby, rock them in your lap, etc.

Perhaps you have heard of the technique some veterinarians use to “wrap a cat.” Binding those felines so that their dagger claws are confined for procedures. Even autistic author Temple Grandin explains that she created her own “squeeze box” when she needed tactile pressure on her body. There are many ways to help creatures regain control or induce calm.

In regards to my spiritual development, I am still so incomplete. I can startle easily, I may flail about, and sometimes I can’t control my crying, complaining, and doubting. I believe Parent God wants to wrap me tight, get close and “shush” in my ear while rocking me. Perhaps I finally have nowhere else to run. I’m confined by my situation or lack of funds. Or I’m worn out and sick. Or I’ve run out of tears. Then I might hear the steady “shushing” in the breeze, the waves, or a quiet song. When I calm down, then I can truly rest in those arms.

“The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing” (Zephaniah 3:17).

Questions for personal journaling or group discussion:

1. What is your reaction to the picture of God “wrapping you tight and shushing you?”

2. Are you discouraged or encouraged by your present spiritual development?

Karen Spruill writes from Florida.

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About Karen Spruill

Karen Spruill

writes from Orlando, Florida.

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