She came on a day already rife with paradox:
~the first day of spring; the next day of a seemingly never ending lockdown because of coronavirus
~the beauty of our yard, all yellows and whites and purples as forsythia and daffodils and hyacinths are in full bloom; the lingering grief as we remember this day, the 4th anniversary of my mother’s homegoing.
And her birth was not without complications: at 10 am our time, 5 in the morning in Chattanooga, Lacy’s water broke, meaning she’d need to deliver within 24 hours. But she was having no contractions. And there were other concerns, not the least being the total lockdown during the coronavirus.
Paul and I did what we could, sequestered at home in France: we prayed, we sent word to family and friends near and far to pray, we wrote words of encouragement, and then…we waited and waited and waited, all the while praying and trying to find things to keep our hearts and minds from worry.
At midnight, we turned out our lights but not our prayers; at 2 a.m. we received word that Lacy’s labor was finally kicking in. And at 4:30 a.m. we received the joyful news that little Lena had been born, that she was healthy as was Lacy.
We rejoiced and cried.
Precious little Lena came into a world of uncertainty and fear. But her birth brings such great joy, a delightful ‘yes!’ to the way life wins over death, love wins over fear and destruction.
Almost thirty years ago, I wrote the following poem as I held my own newborn baby in my arms and listened to the news of impending war. My prayer for my son is again the same prayer for my granddaughter, Lord. That she will know You and love You and trust You no matter what life and the world send her way.
WAR WITHIN MY SOUL (Battle Song for Christopher) Yesterday they bombed the Middle East. You didn't seem to notice in the least, Snuggled in my arms, Oblivious to harm, Precious baby at my breast, Blissful innocence at rest. But there's a war in my soul that rages Wondering what, my son, this world will hold for you. Sometimes I'd like to rewrite history's pages To make sure all your dreams will come true. Today I spoke of Jesus to a friend. She listened as she tried to comprehend. May you find our home a place Where others come to know His grace, And observing, may you then Bow your knee and turn to Him. And there's a war in my soul that rages. It's a battle that's existed from time's start. But our General has been faithful through the ages To win the victory in each Pilgrim's heart. Tomorrow you'll be toddling on your own; Another blink, a little boy half grown, Toy soldiers, plastic guns, Fighting phantoms as time runs. But I wonder how you'll feel When the Enemy is real. If there's a war in your soul that rages, I pray, my son, you'll be prepared to fight With the weapons He provides when war wages Between armies of the Darkness and the Light. He calms the war in my soul that rages, Reminding me His battle plan is sure. He will be faithful through all life's stages As I present you, little one, Before the royal throne Of the Warrior Who is holy and pure. This poem was inspired by my tiny son, the tumultuous events in the Middle East and the testimony of the Word of God. "Faithful is He who calls you, and He will also bring it to pass." I Thessalonians 5:24 "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm." Ephesians 6:12-13 "Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:16 ~February, 1991
May we once again trust You, Holy God, in the midst of new birth and coronavirus and all the other joys and trials of life.