Jack – it’s an awesome name and you wear it well . . . along with eight different colors of marker on your forehead, old gum in your hair and popcorn kernels up your nose – baby, you make this look good.
Jack was the name of your Granny and her father before her. It is the first name of a very mischievous pirate which suits you quite well. But more than anything – Jack, your name means “God has been gracious”.
And certainly He has been.
When I look at you running amuck around the house like some sort of little monkey who has slept for a week and then drank fifteen pots of coffee . . . I can’t believe you are that same little somebody. It’s simply breathtaking to think that you, this precious full-of-life little boy, was a life that almost wasn’t.
I remember the night your daddy rushed us to the ER. I was bleeding so bad . . . baby, it didn’t look good. I held my tummy tight and sang to you. I wanted to get that chance . . . to sing to you. So I did. As the nurses piled out and the print outs for a miscarriage were handed over – I cradled you up inside my heart and I sang to you.
That could have been the end of the story but God was too gracious. Five months later you were born perfect. Your dad and I cradled you up inside our arms this time on our 8th wedding anniversary. That night I sang you the same song I thought would be our last . . . but it was only the beginning.
What a God we serve, Jack! How gracious He has been to us! When I look at you so full of life I am reminded of that grace He has given. Life to the fullest – baby, no fear. Our entire nine months you were oblivious to the danger around you. Your little heartbeat perfect, sucking your thumb, dancing in your bubble despite my continuing to bleed without a cause.
And now? You are SO different than any other kid I have ever met. You need to squeeze every last ounce out of the day. Sometimes that means I am hunched over my pillow at midnight and you are still telling me where you want to go tomorrow.
Even when things get hairy . . . you aren’t afraid. You aren’t afraid to take the hard way if it means getting to what you want. You trust in that flimsy box beneath your feet sometimes a little TOO much. It doesn’t always hold up – but you have faith in the process. You know if you fall we are going to pick you up, dust you off, and mend the broken pieces. I love that about you.
I have a funny feeling you will always be that way. That’s a rare quality . . . faith and fearlessness combined. I think of all the times I missed out on a blessing because I was too afraid, too many times I took the easy road because the path into the forest was too scary . . . and it does my heart good to think you will do things quite differently. You are going to hop up on all the flimsy boxes life throws your way. When God says “Go here” – you are going to trust the process.
Your fearless faith – it inspires me . . . I wonder where you get it from? Perhaps it is something woven into your name, little guy – maybe you just know, somewhere way deep in your core – God is TOO gracious to let you fall and stay down.