“Guess who came crawling down at 6:36 a.m.??” It’s Mr. Schrock. My face alights, smile cracking wide.
“Mr. Birthday?” I type back, hitting send on the BOP (Bright Orange Phone).
I can hardly believe it. Where did the days, months, years go? Who swallowed them whole, hitting ‘fast forward.’ Who stood on the accelerator of Time with, I see now, both feet? Who? And how?
Seven years ago today–I glance at the clock–a newborn infant had already arrived, coming quietly in the night, to be eagerly received by his mama, his daddy and his three big brothers…
The doctor who came, summoned by the midwives, looked grave, brow furrowed. “He’s premature. In distress. Must transfer.” That’s what the mother heard through haze, through fog, as she watched the doctor’s lips move with those horrid, frightening words.
Then came the transport team. Bending over his isolette for one last look, she listened to his “singing,” a sound she would hate for the rest of her life, and dropped prayers, all tear shaped, over the babe.
Neither hell nor high water, not fire or flood can long stand ‘tween a mother and her flesh, blood and bone. Mere hours later, the baby’s father was taking his mother as fast as he could to another town. Another hospital. Another nursery, where the infant lay, intubated and tethered to wires. And this is what they found when they got there…
For 11 days, the hands of God in human skin took care of the babe. His mother, she slept there. And his family came, too, eager, delighted, encircling his bed, stroking his hair, speaking his name.
That was seven years ago today. What miracles the Father has wrought for the boy who came to us late (Mama was almost 39), then early (by 5 weeks), but smack-dab right on time.
His name, suggested by his brothers, means “God is my strength; brave.” From his earliest days, his mother has spoken it over him: “God is your strength. You can be brave.”
Here he is today, happy as an early-rising clam, beaming before Mama’s flowers. Then, the Cheerful Little Cricket hopped in her van, buckled himself in and set off for a big birthday adventure–his first-ever summer camp.
What a day he’s having. And what a life he’s had. Spared as an infant, healed to full strength. Receiving Jesus, the Christ, full into his heart. Learning to pray, to love and to share.
That’s not nothing. In fact, his mama thinks that’s everything. In the Kingdom, it’s everything that counts.
Happy birthday, Little Schrock! Well done, little man. You may just be seven, but you’ve lived your life well. Hoo-rah, yip-yahoo and praise be to God.