The Miracle of Skin-to-Skin (and Why It’s Not Just for Babies)

 

Skin to SkinA few nights ago My Promise ran the first fever of her ten month old life. It came on at bedtime and for the length of a sleepless night all she wanted and all I could do was hold her while she struggled to sleep. 

Cuddled in my arms she looked so terribly pathetic. Her eyes were weak, her skin was hot, and as she breathed she whispered the saddest whimper.

For a mom these are the moments when you’ll do anything to bring comfort to your little one. Around 3:00 am her fever spiked to its highest mark making sleep impossible for her and for me. Remembering her newborn days and how much she was comforted by skin-to-skin contact I stripped her down to her diaper and pushed back my shirt to lay her bare on my chest. Within minutes she settled down and drifted back to sleep. By morning her fever broke and the worst of her illness was over.

As I cuddled her in the dark, our bare skin touching, comforting both of us, my thoughts wandered out of our nursery and into the stable where Christ was born. 

I thought of the infant king, the Prince of Heaven, now wrapped in human flesh and I realized this miracle, this breakthrough from heaven to earth, this God with us, fleshy, and human, and born like us, was and is the ultimate skin-to-skin care the world has ever known.

Christ, who could have remained in heaven, who could have loved us from afar, chose to enter in. Chose to take on skin. Chose to live skin-to-skin among us.

In a mother to infant relationship the benefits of skin-to-skin contact in the first weeks of life are nearly endless. It comforts, it soothes, it promotes all kinds of biological goodness. It creates security, bonds of closeness, and helps and infant adapt to life outside the womb.

And when Christ came to earth this and so much more is just what He had in mind. To cradle us, weak and whimpering and helpless from sin, in His arms. To secure us. Heal us. Make us well. To help us cope and adapt to a world outside His kingdom no longer alone but with Him all around us, beside us, inside us. 

And perhaps most importantly, most amazing of all, was in Christ coming to earth, in Christ becoming human everything that existed between us was pushed back, stripped away. 

He entered in wholly and vulnerable so that nothing could keep us from Him.

As C.S. Lewis once wrote,

“The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God.”

 

Dear ones, as you celebrate this Christmas Day may the miracle of Christmas comfort you, secure you, redeem you. May you find yourself in His arms, on His chest, cradled and cured by His love.

Forever changed, made well, made whole, by the touch of Savior skin. 

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