She’s obsessed with bellybuttons right now.
So much so that her parents warn unsuspecting friends, lest they be caught off guard when she impulsively pulls up their shirts to see if one is hiding under there.
She can be quite determined when she goes on the hunt. And when she finds one? Ah, such wonder! Such delight! She giggles and pokes and then checks her own belly to make sure hers is still there, giggling and poking it, too.
It’s quirky and cute (if sometimes slightly awkward), and it makes us laugh.
It also got me thinking.
She takes no account of social stratification, and has no regard for an inflated sense of personal dignity. Truly, she is no respecter of persons. And no matter whose belly she inspects — young or old, rich or poor, CEO, janitor, wretched sinner, or respected saint — the results are always the same.
She finds a bellybutton.
Because we all come from the same place. We all pass through the maternal waters, and the only thing separating us from certain death is an umbilical lifeline, anchoring us to the source of all we need.
We come into being helpless and incomplete and utterly dependent on another for life.
And I think of Ezekiel 16:4-6.
And as for your birth, on the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to cleanse you, nor rubbed with salt, nor wrapped in swaddling cloths. No eye pitied you, to do any of these things to you out of compassion for you, but you were cast out on the open field, for you were abhorred, on the day that you were born.
And when I passed by you and saw you wallowing in your blood, I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’
Our bellybuttons humble us, reminding us that life is a gift. We didn’t create ourselves or usher ourselves into this world, and no matter how successful or powerful or influential we may appear to be, we can’t save or preserve ourselves, either. God Himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.
Our bellybuttons remind us that we were created dependent, attached, and never meant to stand alone.
We belong to Him, and to each other.
She can be determined when she goes on the hunt, and she’s never disappointed. Because we all have one. Every single one of us.
Isn’t it a wonder and delight?
* * *
Giving thanks in community for (#535 – 554)
Shelly and Aaron
Peggy, Jenna, and Lucie
the body of Christ
voices raised in worship
the hard work of prayer
grace, grace, grace
the free gift of salvation
Luke serving Jacob