Our granddaughter Alaina is now 5 months old, and since her birth I have watched her parents place her in a snuggly at night, to help her feel secure and warm. Confident in her body’s ability to be a blanket of warmth and security, somehow she instinctively rests in calm as her arms are close and the world is as small as her breath and the inside of her co-sleeper. Tucked into a world not of fear and uncertainty but of security, she rests. I have heard from my animal friends, that there is a thunder shirt for dogs, to keep them calm and tucked in during the thunder storms which make dogs run for cover under the bed. A similar blanket helper for horses is available too.
All God’s creatures want to be secure, calm, and tucked into the arms of a safe environment where they can rest secure, free from want and full of love.
I am thinking about Jesus’ birth and the “bands of cloth” in which Mary wrapped Jesus after he was born (Luke 2:7), and the comfort of warmth his mother knew even God with Us, needed.
I am pondering how each person needs a security blanket they can hold on to and wrap themselves in. and how deeply all God’s children long to have a mother’s arms around them. How good it feels to have the arms of a loved one around us, and how empty our arms can feel when we have lost a child which we long to hold.
I am thinking about how many of us sleep with our feet tucked in and the blankets on every side. How open it feels to be seated in the middle of a room -- and would we even do it -- leaving ourselves open to the eyes and the attention of the room all on us, without the corners or at least two sides to shield us?
I am thinking about how God wants to wrap the world in a blanket of love and security, peace and hope.
I am praying this New Year we will each find a place or a person to offer a blanket to; be it our arms or our material blessings; be it a tender word of comfort or a prayer for their safety. How can we wrap God’s people in warm, secure blankets of hope? Church World Service does it with the blankets they offer to victims of floods and hurricanes. The Red Cross does it by the blood of life we donate. Old First Reformed UCC Church does it by housing men who are homeless and would be cold if it weren’t for them. The Chester County Agency on Aging does it by their programs of recreation and by visiting with those who are lonely, and alone. Organizations such as the PREMIE Project, caring friends of newborn babies volunteer to make hats, blanket sleepers, and booties for some of the smallest children of the country. These tiny babies are wrapped in a blanket of love from a seamstress who doesn’t even know their name. How can we help wrap God’s community in love? Where can we offer a security blanket?
In the vision of Hope for the New Year and the new ministries we are called to,