New Birth

One of the greatest joys of being a pastor is that you get to be involved in the most intimate moments of people’s lives. And every time a child is born, I am filled with such hope in the human spirit, with such hope for the future. Through the darkest hours, it’s hard to be hopeless when surrounded by new birth.

A few months ago, a Mennonite couple from out of town contacted me in hopes of finding some resources in my town. They were planning on adopting a child in my town, but were hoping to find a place to stay during the process. The birth mother’s first child was premature, and they were worried about an extended stay if that happened again. We met for lunch, and I found them to be a lovely couple, engaged, interesting, and funny. Even touching.

The baby was born yesterday. He is a beautiful, healthy baby, with curly hair and strong lungs. The hospital is being (imagine this!) hospitable, and the family has their own room with the baby.

The hardest part of the whole thing is that the birth mother has 10 days to change her mind. And the adoptive mother is already in love. I can see that it will break her heart if the mother decides to keep the baby. I really want to say to the mother what she doesn’t see, that it is so important for that child to feel loved these first few days, that even if it doesn’t work out, it’s best that she love that child.

They’ve named the child Desmond. He’s being named after an uncle. But in honor of this beautiful baby, who has already brought with him so much hope, here’s another Desmond’s thoughts:

A person is a person through other persons.

None of us comes into the world fully formed. We would not know how to think, or walk, or speak, or behave as human beings unless we learned it from other human beings. We need other human beings in order to be human. I am because other people are. A person is entitled to a stable community life, and the first of these communities is the family.

My prayer for this Desmond is that stable community life. And a life full of love.

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