Hey Kid,

They tell me you've got something like 2-4 more weeks in the womb . . . or maybe 1 day . . . or maybe 4 days. Anyway, sometime anywhere from tomorrow to the middle of next month we expect you to burst into the world and change everything. No pressure, though. You do what you feel you need to. Your dad and I have waited on lots of other things and we're sort of getting used to this whole "God's got crazy timing" deal - BTW, God is where you came from, so we expect you to have crazy timing, too.

I wish I could tell you that things out here are peachy keen. But that would be such a big lie.

Don't get me wrong, kid. There are lots of good things happening out here. There are kind people. There are beautiful places. Music, food, dancing, sports, books - so many wonderful books - And all of these things are here for you. Your dad and I have some favorites we can't wait to share with you.

But part of my job is to be honest with you, kid. And there's some tough stuff waiting out here for you.

Just this week a devastating earthquake killed over 3,000 people - over 3,000 beautiful people. And 3,000 keeps getting bigger. And the aftershocks keep rocking the Earth.

Just this week some of your mom's friends are waiting and watching as lawmakers decide something really important to them. And while they wait and watch there are some other people saying really ugly things - and it hurts your mom's heart. And it hurts the hearts of some of the friends and family you're going to get to know as you grow up.

Just this week there have been riots in yet another city because yet another person seems to have died at the hands of injustice, and it's 2015, kid. This kind of injustice has been going on for hundreds of thousands of years, and we still don't have it solved.

I want so badly to introduce you to a world that is "solved." But I can't.

I want to give you peace - hand it to you on a silver platter - but I can't.

You know, your grandparents wanted to give peace to me on a silver platter when I was born. They wanted to introduce me to a world that was "solved," and they couldn't. Because it wasn't. 

So they did what everybody out here in the world does - they did the best they could.

For better and worse, they did the best they could.

And it was good enough - in fact, most of the time it was great.

So I'm going to try to give you something that will help you navigate this "unsolved" world we live in - something that your grandpa gave to me. One simple piece of advice.

Watch and listen to everybody around you as much as you can. Be alert. Be an observer. Observe without violence. Observe with out judgement. Listen hard. And when you talk? When you respond? Choose your words slowly and deliberately - choose them calmly. Words are important (trust me, kid - your mom is one wordy lady).

Ephesians 5:2 - "Walk in love as Christ loved us, and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God."

Walk in love, kid.

Romans 12:18 - "If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all."

Walk in peace, kid.

1 Corinthians 1:28-29 - "God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things - and the things that are not - to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before Him."

Walk humbly, kid.

When I found out that I was having you, I was terrified. Mostly because I listen to NPR on the way to work every morning. And it wouldn't matter if I listened to any other news station - I'd be terrified exactly the same way listening to any of them. It's a mixed up world full of mixed up news, and it's the world I'm bringing you into. That has been hard for me to process. But I feel a lot of hope because of you, kid. You're a new thing. You're a "child of blessing." You're a "child of promise." Inside of you are all of the good things that God plants in the hearts of people when they are brand new. 

I can't wait to see what you do.

Today I saw a picture of a kid offering a bunch of police officers bottled water during the protests in Baltimore and I thought, "That could be you, son." And it could.

Someday you will probably have the opportunity to do something because of how you choose to walk. Even though the world around you is going to seem like it's on fire, you're going to have the chance to do the calm, courageous thing. 

About 9 months ago I wrote you a song. It's the only song I've written for you - turns out you really know how to distract mom from her writing . . . 

This song is exactly how I feel even now - even 1 day or 1 week or 1 hour from your birth.

I'm just going to tell you one more thing right now, kid. 

When other people try to convince you that lashing out in hatred comes from God, ignore them. When other people are angry because of a rock somebody threw at them, they might try to tell you that you should pick up rocks and help them throw rocks back - ignore that, too. Because why? Because Jesus is your teacher, kid. And He doesn't teach us how to throw rocks. He teaches us how to put them down.

Be brave, son, and help other people see Jesus by leaving the rocks on the ground. Instead, pick up a water bottle and offer somebody something cool to drink. Look that person in the eye and acknowledge their humanity. It'll give you a gift. And it'll give God a gift. You will get to be the gift.

Love,

Mom

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