Away in a Manger

Since I was a little girl I have always loved the Christmas hymn, Away in a Manger. The beautiful serenity of that song always brought a sweet spirit to my heart. 

I remember one year, singing it in the Christmas choir program at church. And by singing, I mean that I sat next to my best friend Brittany and lip synced the words while she belted out the songs. Singing is not my talent... Anyway, I can still vividly remember standing before the congregation while I watched two young mothers hold and rock their new babies while singing that beautiful song. As their tender tears fell, so did mine. I knew little then of the emotion that they must have felt, as they must have been thinking about what it must have been like for mother Mary and her sweet Christ child.

Fast forward 10 years, and I was that mother, singing Away in a Manger with tears in my eyes while I held my own infant son. As I shared in a post last year, the nativity scene took on a completely new meaning for me while we were at Primary's with Max.  Mary's baby, the Savior of the world, was born in a stable. She laid him to sleep in a trough where animals fed. How it must have concerned her and broken her heart to not be able to give him a place fit for a king. I felt close to Mary's heart as my own child laid in a hospital, sick and clinging to life. Thousands of years apart and completely different, yet my humbling circumstances made me feel connected to this incredible woman.

So Away in a Manger became my go-to song to hum or sing to Max, especially during his last days with us. And every time I would get to the last verses I would choke up as the words became like a prayer for me:

I love Thee, Lord Jesus
Look down from the sky
And stay by my side
'Til morning is nigh

Be near me, Lord Jesus
I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever
And love me, I pray

Bless all the dear children
In Thy tender care
And fit us for Heaven
To live with Thee there

My baby was fit for heaven. He resides in the presence of God. How grateful I am to know that. How grateful I am that, if he cannot be with me, he is at peace in the arms of our Savior.