One day last year at the beginning of Advent, I stepped outside to find that it was raining. It was a gray, misty drizzle, the kind that leaves all your clothing slightly damp and seeps in through your shoes. I had already been feeling annoyed at the fickle New York weather as of late, and this only intensified my annoyance. Also, I was running late that morning, and the weather only confirmed that it was a mess of a day.
As I avoided puddles crossing the street, I saw in passing just a glimpse of a baby in a stroller. The stroller had one of those clear plastic windows where the baby could look out onto the world from within a little bubble, and the face I saw peering out from behind the plastic was filled with absolute delight.
This child did not know that there were so many things to be unhappy about. Where I saw gloom and monotony, this baby saw wonder and joy and was positively thrilled to be gliding across a muddy city street. This angelic face looked up at a dark gray sky and laughed with happiness. I thought of Bethlehem, of the child Jesus as a bright, shining light in the darkness. I thought of the truth that no matter how bad the world gets, no matter how entrenched we are in sin, God keeps sending babies into the world to remind us of how beautiful it all still is. What a miracle that our own wonder and joy can be renewed through the eyes of an infant. How much love the Father must have for us to send His Son as a baby into the world, the incarnation of love, joy, purity of heart, and innocence. He continually renews the world through children, and He calls each of us to be truly childlike, to trust in and rely upon Him and to see each day as a beautiful adventure.