My grandson, Noah, is fearfully and wonderfully made.
I saw him yesterday, less than an hour after he emerged into the daylight from the rather cramped conditions inside his mother’s womb (he’s a big bruiser of a baby, and space was getting a little tight in there). He looked a bit battered after a thirty-hour labour experience, but the parts are all in working order, thanks be to God.
When you stroke your finger across the palm of his hand, his little fingers automatically wrap around yours. When you stroke his foot in a certain way, his toes shoot out in all directions. He knows how to suck (he obviously got a lot of practice in utero), and if he’s hungry, he lets you know. Yes, the lungs are definitely in working order; he’s got a good set of pipes. The other end works pretty well too – input and output function pretty well as designed.
At the moment, of course, he doesn’t understand any of this. He hasn’t a clue how his digestive system works, but he’s still interested in digesting. His brain is a mystery to him, but he’s storing multiple megabytes of information on it every new day of his life. He doesn’t know how vital his liver and kidneys are, getting rid of poisons that could kill him – he just knows he feels wet and clammy in the diaper region. Time to exercise the lungs again.
This stuff is going to work on automatic pilot for a long time. It’ll be years before he has more than a rudimentary knowledge of how his body works. But in the meantime, it works anyway. Fortunately, he doesn’t have to understand it to be able to benefit from it. God is looking after that for him. God and his Mom, of course (God created her so that he could be everywhere at once…).
One day, I hope Noah will learn to enjoy praying the psalms. Especially one of my favourites, Psalm 103, which has this rather relevant bit in it:
For it was you who formed my inward parts;you knit me together in my mother’s womb.I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.Wonderful are your works;that I know very well.My frame was not hidden from you,when I was being made in secret,intricately woven in the depths of the earth.Your eyes beheld my unformed substance. (Psalm 139:13-16a, NRSV).
I love this psalm. I suspect it’ll be a few years before Noah learns to love it. Meantime, I’ll just pray it for him.