Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Labor Intensive

Everybody loves babies! This is about two births in families whose lives have intersected with mine. It is from February 1, 2011.

Last week was a big week for babies at Westbury Christian School. On Wednesday, Kristina (and Doug) Irizarry welcomed Isabel Lynn into the world. I have yet to meet this tiny young lady but I'm looking forward to it as I preached her mom's and dad's wedding two years ago, the only nuptials ever featuring a video with a Star Wars theme! What an unforgettable memory for me- being chosen to officiate the biggest family affair in a couple's life is such an honor. Kristina, one of our coaches and lower school aides, is a huge NFL fan. She was praying Isabel would not arrive on Super Bowl Sunday- now that would have been a dilemma!

Isabel was not the only bundle of joy on our campus, however. On Friday morning, shortly after 11:00, Gabriel John Harvey (Gabe) Harper made his debut, born to Katherine Harper, our elementary art teacher and her husband, Edward. I've mentioned several times their daughter, Margaret, who critiques my wardrobe on a Monday-Friday basis. Their oldest, Elizabeth Katherine, is one of my eighth grade students. After school today, she made up a test missed on the day of baby Gabe's birth, filling me in on the latest about her baby brother. You have to love happy families and the Harpers definitely fit into that mold; but, that is not the point of this piece. Let's go back a bit in time.

The night before Gabe was born, Westbury Christian School held our annual January Open House for Prospective Students. It is one of the most important events of our school year as parents across the Houston area consider us for the continuing education of their children. Each department from kindergarten through high school sets up tables to display our areas of emphasis. We mingle with parents and their children to familiarize them with WCS and answer questions while tours are being offered by our own students. We had a great turnout and made many new acquaintances but here is the most memorable part of the evening for me; Mrs. Katherine Harper, elementary art instructor extraordinaire, was there doing her job. She had her displays set up to inform these families what we can offer in her area of expertise and she interacted with all of them. I walked into my apartment around nine PM and I'm pretty sure I beat the Harpers home. And fourteen hours later, she brought a baby into the world in that age old miraculous process of birth.

We sang quite a few songs when I was a kid that centered around our non-stop efforts in the kingdom of God. Hymns like "Go, Labor On" and "We'll Work Til Jesus Comes" and "Work For The Night Is Coming" were all in my favorites' category. The thought wasn't you had to work your way into the good graces of Jesus or earn your way into heaven. What I always took away from those gospel standards was the concept that we have stuff to do if we want others to know the Good News of the Christ. I would guess Katherine Harper was not feeling her best and maybe even sensed the impending delivery of her son during the Open House. And yet, there she was, only eight hundred minutes from becoming a mother for the fifth time, extolling the virtues of our school, where three of her kids are being taught. She could have begged out but this school mission is too vital for her. That's the kind of teacher I want for my kids. Well, that's the kind of teacher I want for my kids when I have some. First things first, even for single teachers.

Applicable quote of the day:
“Call it 'womb awe' or even 'womb worship' but it's not simple envy. I don't remember even wanting to be a woman. But each of the three times I have been present at the birth of one of my children, I have been overwhelmed by a sense of reverence... It was quite suddenly, the first day of creation; the Goddess giving birth to a world... Like men since the beginning of time I wondered: What can I ever create that will equal the magnificence of this new life?”
Sam Keen

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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Jaycee said...

Amazing woman and beautiful testimony.

"What can I ever create that will equal the magnificence of this new life?" Nothing, nothing we can create can ever equal a new life that God causes to be born into this world. No scientist can recreate it, or make a better plan.

Cindy Ellison said...

A baby changes everything ...