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Dec 07, 2023 432 Reshma Thomas, India
Encounter

He Loves Me

As an only child, I had this ‘baby fantasy’. Every time a cousin was born, I prepared with great ado, trimming my nails and washing up well so I could touch the baby. Waiting for Christmas felt the same as I was preparing to receive baby Jesus into my heart. Once in college, during the Christmas Mass, a thought struck me: this adorable baby Jesus is soon going to mount up to Calvary and be crucified, for Lent was just a few months away. I was perturbed, but later, God gave me the conviction that life is never without the cross. Jesus suffered so He could be with us in our sufferings. 

I did not fully grasp the sublime meaning of suffering until my little Anna was born premature at 27 weeks of pregnancy and all the complications that followed—severe brain damage, epileptic seizures, and microcephaly. Sleepless nights and constant cries, there wasn’t an easy day from then on. I had a plethora of dreams and aspirations, but with my little one needing me so much, I had to forgo all of it. One day, I was brooding over how my life had become home-bound with Anna, now about 7 years old, stretching across my lap and slowly gulping some water little by little. In my mind, there was a lot of noise, but I could distinctly hear angelic music, and the words were repeated, over and over again: “Jesus…Jesus…this is Jesus.”  

With her long arms and legs, and her slender body sprawling over my lap, it suddenly dawned on me—there was a striking resemblance with the Pieta, recalling how at the foot of the Cross, Jesus lay silently on His mother’s lap. 

Tears flowed and I was brought to the reality of God’s presence in my life. When pinned down with the cares and worries of life, I sometimes gasp for even the most menial tasks, but then I remember I am not alone. 

Every child God gives us is truly a blessing. While Anna depicts the suffering Jesus, our 5-year-old son wipes the drool from Anna’s face and promptly gives her medicine. He reminds me of the child Jesus helping his father and mother with the daily chores. Our little 3-year-old daughter never tires of thanking Jesus for even the most trivial things, bringing to mind how the child Jesus grew in wisdom and love. Our one-year-old cherub, with his little cheeks, plump rounded hands and legs, resembles the sculpted baby Jesus, bringing to mind how Mama Mary nurtured and cared for the little one. As he smiles and turns in his sleep, there’s even a glimpse of baby Jesus gently sleeping. 

If Jesus hadn’t come down to be amongst us, would I still have the peace and joy I experience every day? If I hadn’t known His love, would I experience the beauty of seeing Jesus in my children and doing everything for them as I would for Him?

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Reshma Thomas

Reshma Thomas serves on the Editorial Board of Shalom Tidings. She resides with her family in Kerala, India.

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