Quite a cause for a celebration
Since writing my column last week, the world has undergone a change of cataclysmic proportions—for the better, I might add. For the life of me, I cannot understand the lack of coverage in the news media. None of the major cable outlets carried the story, nor did any major metropolitan newspaper. What were they thinking?
So what happened Wednesday morning Dec. 1 in the wee hours that so affected our future? This writer became a grandfather!
We were sitting in the family waiting area outside Labor and Delivery at Wake Medical Center in North Carolina, waiting for James to bring us some news on our daughter Lizzie’s progress. For hours we’d been sitting up in those chairs designed by people that never have to sit in them. “We” included Marcia and me, Ben and Carolyn Cooper—James’s parents—and their grown children, Adam and Ashley. Too excited to read or do anything else productive, we talked or dozed until the hospital cafeteria opened at midnight for “breakfast.” I had pizza.
Finally at 2:30 a.m. James entered the waiting room all smiles. He refused to tip his hand. Unlike most couples, James and Lizzie had chosen not to know whether their baby was boy or girl until birth. They said there are too few surprises left in life, and they didn’t want to spoil this one.
But now he knew. He led us down the quiet hospital hallway, past the glassed-in nursery, to a dimly lit room where our daughter sat up in bed, a baby-shaped bundle cradled in her right arm. “Her name is Isabella Marie,” James declared, positively glowing. Lizzie’s tired demeanor reminded me why they refer to the process as “labor.” Yet she was glowing also. “She weighed nine pounds, 13 ounces,” my petite little girl proudly proclaimed.
Though numb from seven hours of driving followed by as many hours of waiting, I suddenly realized my eyes were wet. What had been a bulge of unknown for months now had a face, a form, a name. And in this child was flesh-and-blood proof of the melding of two families into one. I was overwhelmed.
After a few hours of sleep followed by a few errands, we returned to the hospital. For the first time ever, I held my little granddaughter. With her tiny hands and long slender fingers, her wobbly head, her big little feet—she seemed so fragile.
We had taken many pictures by this time. And I am convinced that the hospital security guard, the waitresses at IHOP and Ruby Tuesday, and the strangers on the elevator really were eager to pour over them. Furthermore, I’m sure I am not biased when I say that Isabella is without a doubt the finest baby ever born in North Carolina. But our celebration began in earnest that evening with a birthday party for Isabella, for it was technically still her birth-day. Between bites of cake and gulps of the bubbly—non-alcoholic, of course—we marveled over the wonder of this new child.
It is seven days later as I write this, and my feet have yet to touch the ground again.
I have sometimes heard protests over celebrating the birth of Christ at Christmas, that it is not biblical. Not biblical?
Didn’t a whole host of angels celebrate the birth of this Baby, God Incarnate, who was the flesh-and-blood proof of the melding of the Divine and the human? Didn’t the shepherds then seek Him out and spend the evening praising and glorifying God for His unspeakable Gift? Some months later didn’t wise men come from the east to worship Him and give Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh?
Every human birth is a wonder worth celebrating. So is it any wonder that the birth of God’s Son and our Savior should inspire singing, praise, worship, fellowship, and even giving of gifts in His honor? Almighty God entered the human race to save us from our sins!
“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!’” (Luke 2:13-14).