Miriam Jeanette Caauwe was born this afternoon at 4:26pm. She weighed 7lbs., 14 oz. and measured 20 3/4 inches.
We knew she was coming for nine months. We made plans. We anxiously waited. But it always amazes me how quickly new babies go from an idea, an unknown individual, to a dear person who suddenly becomes the object of my love and affection. Not that I didn't know that she was an individual in the womb. Not that I didn't love her yesterday. But something is different this evening as I think about what has happened today and how everything has changed for this little one and for us, now seven of us. Now she has a name, and a face we can see. And in the years ahead, we have a million ways we can now show our love to her, by caring for her needs and by being father and mother to this one who is now so small. And perhaps that is what has changed from yesterday to today. Now we have these concrete ways of showing our love.
But it strikes me that God doesn't work that way. He doesn't/didn't wait for us to even be born before he showed his love for us in the most concrete way. In the birth of a child—his, not ours—he expressed love to those yet to be born. In acts of obedience and acts of love to others, with bloody nails and spear, with an empty cave, God acted in love before we ever came on the scene. "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you," God told Jeremiah.
And all the while we (and our children) were in the womb—known to our parents only in their imagination, God knew us and loved us before and while he knit us together in that womb. What an extraordinary and concrete act of love! So this whole process of birth seems to be God's way of introducing to us the one he has known all along.
What an awesome joy it will be then, to re-introduce this one (whom God knew from eternity) to her heavenly Father, not simply as one of his (fallen) creatures, but as one who has been washed and clothed in the blood of His Son. It will be a joy to bring her to Holy Baptism, to be marked with the name of God and the cross of his Son.