Tuesday, February 20, 2007

One thousand, eight hundred, twenty-six and a quarter days

5 years ago today, I witnessed with my own eyes the greatest miracle God has performed since the Resurrection. That fateful Wednesday afternoon, I held a baby close to me and whispered in her ear, "Welcome to the world, Mary Hannah." I've learned more in these five years than in the previous 24, about myself, about God and how everything fits together. Mary Hannah is my daughter, my joy, my consternation, my teacher, my friend. She makes me laugh when I don't want to and can make me want to scream moments later. Who knew how God would add another dimension to my life with this small child? I used to be pretty self absorbed, like most people are. But God introduced me to Amelia and gave me a reason to think of someone besides myself. Now that she and I are one, God has again broadened my view and helped me to understand him more by making me a father. When I look at my children, I don't just see their glowing faces, their innocent smiles. I see what they might become. All the hopes and dreams I have for them dance with potential in their eyes. As they grow, they'll probably shatter these illusions, but will replace them with desires that they have for themselves. As a daddy, I'll do my best to help them achieve their dreams and lauch them from my protective wing and hope they take flight. I know that five years isn't a long time, in the grand scheme of things, but today, it feels like forever. I join the bagillion other parents before me who have wished that they could freeze time and hold their children to themselves for ever, unchanging. But I realize not only is that a selfish wish, it is kind of silly. It means that I'd deprive myself of the joy of seeing Mary Hannah turn 13 and 18 and 25 and so on. When I got married, I remember thinking that my heart was so full of love, I couldn't possibly have room for any more. But then God let me in on a secret of the human heart: it is made in the image of God's and God's capacity for love is unlimited. I found it to be true the day I whispered from my heart to Mary Hannah... and again as Ethan surprised me with his remarkable entrance... and again as Eleanor graced us with her presence. So, I guess today, 1826.25 days after I welcomed Mary Hannah into the world and thanked God for the opportunity to be a father, I will continue to look forward to each day that God gives me to love these babies, to learn from them and to watch them grow in grace and stature test the limits of my heart.


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