One of the blessed moments of caring for babies comes when you see them lift their heads and sit up. The baby often crowns this great achievement with wide eyes and a big smile toward any witnesses.
Mary and Joseph surely delighted in their first face-to-faces with their child Jesus, as he delighted in sitting up to see the world from a baby's-eye view.
In a Daily Lesson for December 30th, we see Jesus the man use this crib-learned action to protect and liberate a fallen human being:
When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, 'Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.' And once again he bent down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the elders; and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus straightened up and said to her, 'Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?' She said, 'No one, sir.' And Jesus said, 'Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.'
Dying on the cross, Jesus lifts his head. The Gospels tell of of at least seven times when he lifts his head against the agony and speaks, finally to say It is finished.
As he lifts his head that last time, he protects and liberates all who will meet his gaze of love.