Our first son David was born shortly before it became common for fathers to be allowed in the birth room, so I missed out on that miracle. When Mark came along a few years later, I was there, holding Char’s hand, fully aware that this was a woman’s experience that no man can quite imagine even when we’re present.
But when the doctor lifted up that little baby, something hit me very hard, something I cannot put into words even now, more than 39 years later. Amidst all the pain and messiness for Char, and before they had even cleaned little Mark, I found myself thinking, “This is reality. It’s hard but it’s good, very good, and very, very real.”
It also quickly turned funny as Mark’s first moments of life were spent peeing on the umbilical cord!
We spend most of our lives veiled from reality, don’t we? It’s not just me, is it? I’m always struggling to know what’s real, to be fully and truly present in each of my days. That’s why I’m so glad to learn from Scripture that “the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words” (Romans 8:26). I want so much to be fully present in prayer, to meet and be met by my Lord, but too many times I begin in prayer and realize a few minutes later my mind has gone elsewhere.
I am so grateful that the Spirit of God fulfills my prayer for me. God knows my heart far more deeply than I can express.
To be real in love, real in joy, real in pain, real in prayer. . .these are such great gifts. May they become more and more common for you and for me.