I was following my baby brother around one night, trying to get him to go to the stairs without picking him up and making him cry.
He crawled out of my sight. When I caught up to him, he was sitting under an old picture of me and my brother. He looked up to ‘us’ and said, ‘Hi-dere!’
Which got me thinking.
What is my brother’s world? His bedroom, he knows in great detail. The rest of the house, he knows well. He knows my grandmother’s house almost as well. He feels at home at the park.
Then, there are places he knows a little about. The doctor’s office, the auditorium of my school where they have parent meetings, the waiting room of the dentist.
Then, there are the places that he has never been, that he has to trust our pictures and words. My grandparents’ house in England. Our old neighborhood. But he is so young, these pictures mean nothing. When he looks up at a picture, he doesn’t see the many things that help us tell pictures apart from people. He sees a mouth, eyes, ears, and hair. He sees those also on the things he talks too. He assumes that they are the same.
Why do babies cry?
They can’t always fix the problems in their world. If a light shines in their eyes when they’re sleeping- they cry until we understand. If they are hungry, they will cry until we feed them. Later, when baby gets older, they might crawl to their high chair or eat Cheerios off the floor. But some things will still be out of their control. Then, they cry out to their parents. To a stranger, this might sound like pointless wailing. But parents can tell different types of crying apart, and will know whether the child is hungry, tired or lonely.
To G-d, we are children. He loves us simply because we are there, and we respond to His love. He will give us anything we ask for, if it is truly what we need. We feel unanswered, because G-d loves us enough not to just make us happy now, but in the future; by not giving us things that are harmful.
Just like a baby, so many things are out of our control. We see so many problems in the world, but we lack the abilities to stand on our wobbly baby legs and fix them. As we ‘grow’, we do more, but we never lose sight on the being who is there if we need Him.
Like babies, who forget all their Torah and have to learn from scratch, many things mean nothing to us. The concept that G-d is forever and timeless is impossible for us finite beings to understand.
It’s kind of daunting to imagine being a baby. There is so much we don’t know about the way G-d runs His world. Our senses are so weak.
But just like parents who are never far from their children, and who never resent being there for us, G-d will always be there to walk with us, pick us up when we fall, and help us try again. He hears when we cry and when we are silent. He watches us while we sleep. And he loves each and every one of us, just because we love Him.