The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"Being a Father. Knowing a Father"
Our firstborn Marie entered the world by Caesarean section after my wife Frances, like the trooper she is, labored for many hours to no avail. I was not allowed to be in the operating room during the procedure, and spent about 9 months in the maternity waiting room, praying and pacing, praying and pacing, praying and pacing…
Finally, a nurse appeared, holding the most beautiful baby I had ever seen. "Mr. Davis, allow me to introduce you to your daughter." I'm not sure if the dumb grin or the tears came first, but I looked into Marie's face for the first time in amazed and grateful wonder. Whoa!!!! The nurse then did a surprising thing. She drew closer to me and extended her arms, seeming to indicate she wanted me to hold the sublimely beautiful wonder. I shuddered, backed away, held up my hands, and said, "Ma'am, I've never held a baby before!" Strangely, this seemed to have no effect on the nurse's intentions to deposit Marie into my arms. Before I knew what was happening, I held my daughter next to my heart for the first time. I wasn't sure how tightly or loosely to hold on to her, but somehow things worked out. However, the nurse then did another strange thing. "Follow me, Mr. Davis" she said as she began to walk away. "Whhaaaattttt, hold my baby and walk at the same time?????" I did not actually say the words. I thought them, however, in abject terror.
It all worked out. I successfully - by the grace of God! - held Marie and walked with her. And by the time we reached our destination down a long hall, the fellow who had been so nervous about holding his daughter - and even walking while doing it! - never wanted to let her go. I think about these things because today is Marie's birthday. She has grown into a truly amazing human being in more ways than I could ever describe, and most importantly, knows and loves our Lord. "Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is His reward" (Psalm 127:3).
With Marie, and later, with her brother Noah and sister Emmie, I learned - and continue to learn - things about our Heavenly Father that would seem impossible to discover in any other way. Indeed, I learned that as our Father, He holds us, and He walks with us. He keeps us near to His heart always, so much so that the Holy Spirit dwells in all who trust the Lord Jesus Christ. He walks with us, and again, in such measure that He walks in us. "I will dwell in them and walk in them" (II Corinthians 6:16). Unlike that fellow who had never held a baby, He does so with no trepidation whatsoever, and with absolute confidence that He will bear us to our destination of eternal glory with Himself. "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of My righteousness" (Isaiah 41:10). Yes, safe in His arms, and transported by His absolute devotion to our well being and ability to lead us, we can rest our hearts in His heart. "Your life is hid with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:3). I learned this far better than I ever knew it when having children, beginning with Marie. Thankfully, the lessons continue.
I did not know the realm of Light into which I entered in the moment I first saw and held Marie. I was unaware that being a father would so grace my heart with knowing a Father. But it did, and it does. So, on this special day in Marie's life, and the life of our family, I give thanks to the One who gave such a gift to my eyes, my arms, my feet, and my heart. And one more thing: the Light that began to shine when holding Marie became the Light that now shines by beholding her as she exemplifies the Lord she loves, the Father she trusts, and the Spirit she follows.
"Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is His reward."
Weekly Memory Verse
"But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name."