There are 3 women who have their office space right outside mine. I can always tell when someone has brought a baby into that area. There’s a little affection bomb that goes off. If it seeps too much into my office, I have to go out and stand awkwardly like men do looking at a baby they really don’t want to hold.

Don’t get me wrong. I like babies, but they are not my favorite. My favorite are new parents with their baby. There is something really special about that love.

Last week I was walking down the hall and got to see little Judah Hoffman. Judah has only been on this earth for less than a year. He still has that new smell. His parents, Andy and Becca, are two of my favorite people – whether they know it or not.

Judah was born with a cleft palate and has already had 2 corrective surgeries. I was asking Andy and Becca if he would need any more surgery because he looks great. They began to school me on cleft palates. They didn’t mean to. It was like they suddenly turned into walking, talking cleft palate encyclopedias of knowledge. It was pretty breathtaking. I thought about it later.

A year ago, Andy and Becca probably couldn’t have told me much about a cleft palate. They wouldn’t have known the different types, the surgeries needed, what each surgery would correct or how long the recovery would be.

Baby Judah before and after his corrective surgeries.


Now they know all of that and much, much more. Why? The short answer is love.

You may not love what you know, but you definitely get to know what you love. And they love Judah with every fiber of their being. And that means they have come to know all about cleft palates because the little person they love more than anyone else happens to have one.

Love came first for them and then knowledge.

I have been reading the Psalms lately. Over and over again the psalmist reminds God, “You know me.” And of course, he’s right. And God knows you too. But God doesn’t know all about you just because he knows everything like a super genius who knows a ton of both useful and useless information. God knows you because he loves you.

And just like with Judah and his parents, the love came first. God says to the psalmist at one point, “Before I formed you in your mother’s womb, I knew you.” It is his way of saying, “I loved you before you were you.”

The next time you see new parents with a little baby, take a good long look. They are on the steepest learning curve there is because they are about as in love as anyone can be. And that’s the way God is toward you. How cool is that?