If there were ever two words that were certain to bring a response from just about anyone you meet, they would have to be "New Baby."
As I write this my son and the daughter-of-my-heart are in the birthing center of their local hospital. Later today they will report that they have a "new baby." (I typically refuse to call the women who've married my sons "daughters-in-law," because the law had so little to do with it. the only part of the law that was involved was the marriage license.)
This will be a day of celebration, a day of joy. Even her name, Beatrice, is derived from a Latin name meaning "she who brings happiness." She was conceived in an act of love, will be born in an act of labor, and mature through a long process that will require both.
Yesterday I wrote some fatherly thoughts to my son who was about to become a father. Among the things I told him was, "the birth of Beatrice will add to who you are. In ways you could never imagine and ways I could never begin to explain, your life is about to be transformed. Utterly and magnificently."
Her birth was not a surprise, it has been eagerly anticipated. But it's arrival will change their lives forever.
Today, as I sit awaiting the updates and then, finally, the news of Beatrice's birth, I've seen it in a bit of a different light. I began to consider God, our Heavenly Father, anticipating the new birth of those who will respond to His offer of new life.
He, too, is an "expectant father" awaiting the birth of His children. According to the scriptures, each one of us who chooses to believe in our heart that Jesus is Lord and confess with our mouth that God raised Him from the dead are born again into a totally new life. That event causes great rejoicing in heaven., and not only with the Father. Jesus tells us that there is joy in the presence of God's angels over every sinner who repents. Like with Beatrice's birth, the whole family rejoices together.
It occurs to me that what I wrote to my son applies in greater measure to those who come to Christ. Giving your life to Christ, being re-born, will add to who you are. In ways you could never imagine and ways I could never begin to explain, your life is transformed. Utterly and magnificently.
Of course, as with Beatrice's birth, there ARE some ways that the changed life can be anticipated and explained. But the point is that, far from the surface of the typical changes that everyone can anticipate, there will be intimate and unique changes for THIS relationship. As any parent with more than one child can tell you, each experience of birth, each process of attaining maturity and each life is totally different. Each encompasses its own exquisite joys and incalculable pains.
LOVE will be different. Among the things I wrote to my son was, "You may have thought before that you were capable of love.
Tomorrow its new depths will shock you." New life opens paths for new love, just as new love opens paths of new life.
There is NOTHING to compare with new life - physical OR spiritual. It is priceless and precious. And while there are many married couples who for one reason or another remain childless, that is never a wise spiritual choice.
One final thought. As much as Beatrice's birth will change the lives of the new parents, it will also most certainly change hers.
Again, the spiritual parallels are astonishing!