from A Year of Morning Thanks
“Indeed, [God] not only declares
that a clear mirror of God’s works is in humankind,
but that infants,
while they nurse at their mothers’ breasts,
have tongues so eloquent to preach his glory
that there is no need at all of other orators.”
Say what you want about John Calvin, but you've got to admit that this little riff on Psalm 8:2 is novel--and memorable. The beauty of a baby's nursing hum vastly surpasses, he says, even Obama's soaring oratory. Can't help but giggle.
But the amazing thing is that when I read that line, I remembered instantly the sounds my own children made when they were nursing so many years ago, a memory I thought I had forgotten until I read the passage. Not so. I recognized the eloquence immediately; it returned in an instant. I hear it yet. I hear it now.
I don't doubt for a moment the horrors of post-traumatic stress. A few years ago, uncovering what some called "buried memories" was even something of a fad. Who knows, really, what all exists in the library of audio tapes and technicolor images a memory seals up seemingly on its own? Lord knows, I think I've got bad memories up there too.
But this morning I’m thankful for once having heard the tender music of my children nursing--and for being able to testify not only to what Calvin asserts here in the Institutes, but to the eloquence I heard back then and hear again, even now, so many years later.
I'm thankful for good memories, especially for those I didn't even know I had.