Friday, August 5, 2016

The Parable of the Boob

Jesus often spoke in parables.  I thought I'd give it a shot.  Of course, my parable involves female anatomy.  Maybe it's because I've been hanging out with Middle Schoolers for the past few years.  Maybe it's that giving birth has taken away any shame that I once felt about the human body.  Maybe it's because I spend half of my waking hours nursing my newborn.  Maybe it's just sleep deprivation.  Whatever the case, I think there is something to take away here.  So here it goes:  the parable of the boob.

My baby does these strange things.  He loves his hands.  They are always up by his face.  When he gets hungry those little fingers often end up in his mouth.  He loves to suck on them.  What's weird is that there are times when I am trying to feed him and I can't because his hands get in the way.  In fact, sometimes I have my breast right there waiting for him, and instead of taking it he opts for eating his fingers.  There he is next to something that could provide him exactly what he needs.  My breast milk is designed especially for him--it has all the nutrients to help him grow and keep him healthy and happy.  Yet he sucks on his fingers.  He feels a need, and thinks he can fulfill it.  All the while he is missing out on the one thing that can sustain and satisfy him even though it is readily available..  There's nothing inherently wrong with sucking on his fingers.  In fact, under different circumstances--self-soothing through the night, for example--sucking on his fingers is even useful.  It's just that when he tries to meet his need to feed by sucking on his fingers instead of my nipple it just doesn't work.  Now, my baby always seems to figure it out.  He finds the nip and gets the food he needs.  However, if he were to continue trying to feed himself using his hands, and he never made his way to my milk, he would starve to death.

I couldn't help thinking this parallels what we go through as human beings.  We feel a need.  We are hungry for love, acceptance, and relationship.  We try to meet this need in our own ways--through achievements, through other people, through substances--you name it.  Yet all the while the perfect source of life is standing by just waiting for us to latch on (if you will).  Sucking on fingers may make my baby feel better for a few seconds.  Just like our addictions may make us feel fulfilled temporarily.  But if we never get connected to Jesus our needs will never truly be met.  Eventually, we will die.  Jesus is offering himself to us like I am offering my, well, boob, to my newborn.  Only he can fulfill us.  We have to choose to take hold of the one thing that can give us exactly what we need.  He is our source of life.

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