2020 is the year no one saw coming. A gut-wrenching, life-altering cascade of events that no one has escaped from unscathed. Even as I started writing this, it was Election Day, your birth day, in a deeply divisive season of discord, an election that even now is ripping our nation even further apart.
Amidst it all we have not lost hope, we do not drown in our despair. Hebrews 6:19 tells us,
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf.
As you rolled from side to side over the last months, stretching the bounds of my belly and your wee warm cocoon, you were and are our visible anchor of hope, of life, of God’s good gifts, even in this year of sadness after sadness, a year of quarantine, of distance, of loss.
Your name is Charles Robert, meaning strong, bright warrior, named after men who shone bright on those around them, whose presence was a light to us all.
Our prayer for you, our son, our bright hope, is that you will be a warrior, yes, and about that, I’ll tell you what I tell your brothers.
You need to know that warriors don’t always fight with guns and swords. Valor comes from the Latin valorem for “strength, moral worth.” It is displayed in the face of something designed to crush it. It is gallant bravery and strength. It is honor plus dignity and courage.
Mighty men are humble, respectful, and know the value of a person. Mighty men know that dignity is inherent in the Imago Dei, not conferred by circumstance or privilege. Mighty men are compassionate and fierce in the face of injustice, evil, and suffering. Mighty men fight, for the gospel, for the poor, for the widows, for justice. Whether you fight with word, deed, or weapon, son, I pray you fight.
But more than a warrior son, I pray you will be a light in the darkness, reflecting the gospel as you go out into the world, a world torn asunder by sin, despair, and distress. I pray you radiate, a child of God shining as lights in the world. And finally, son, I pray over you the words of Paul, as we pray them over you all.
… that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Welcome to the world, Charles Robert. We are all better for you being in it.