originally written in 1998; edited 2014
I’ve always found it amazing how women can recall with painstaking clarity (no pun intended), the minute details of birthing children. I recall that as a young teenage girl I could not understand the necessity for women to tell, and tell again, each little aspect of the birthing process. Exactly how long was the labor? What insensitive thing did the husband say or do? How many pounds and ounces did the baby weigh? Oh, and you should have seen all the hair the baby had. Somehow, it just didn’t make that much sense to me.
It wasn’t until years later – 1989 to be specific – that I finally understood the significance of birth stories. I have a wealth of memories from December 14, 1989 and February 15, 1993 that I have shared repeatedly with anyone who would listen. Gosh, it was so cold that Thursday in December. It was still below freezing when we brought Logan home from the hospital in one of those cute little stockings. Oh, and can you believe we almost didn’t make it to the hospital in time for Cameron to be born? My doctor was still home lying on the couch reading a book so the hospital intern had to deliver him.
The telling, and retelling, can be quite comical.
One Sunday about two years ago (which would be 18 years ago now!), Carol Younger (my Sunday school teacher then) posed a question that caused me to verbalize why it is that I’ve carefully maintained and cherished such memories. I can’t recall the exact words of Carol’s question, but the gist of it was when or where did you most feel God’s presence. In just a few seconds, the answer was firm in my mind – the births of Logan and Cameron. There hasn’t been another time when I felt the realness of God’s love . . . the miracle of a child.
In my life span of 31 years (and now 47!), I have received gifts of all kinds. I’ve enjoyed priceless gifts handmade by tiny hands; extravagant gifts custom wrapped at the store; gag gifts that made me laugh until my sides hurt;and gifts that were supposed to be surprises but someone forgot he wasn’t supposed to tell. But for me, there is little doubt. The most extravagant gift of all is the gift of a child.
I don’t find it at all surprising God sent His greatest gift to us in a child – baby Jesus. Emmanuel. God with us.
A baby changes everything.