Monday, March 2, 2009


March 1, 2009 uncertainty

There are a handful of life moments which, when piled together chronologically, end up telling a story; whether one gets the full length novel version or the sonnet version or, perhaps for some a two line couplet is enough. Less than three months ago Ruby’s story began. That day she journeyed with her mother down the hill and through the valley of the shadow of death. They both rose, victorious, with one quivering cry in a small hospital room, her mama’s forehead dripping with the effort, and Ruby’s little body shivering in the newness of itself. That was a beautiful opening scene. Soon enough the holidays rolled through and she wrapped her little fingers around her mama’s pinky when she nursed and curled into her daddy’s lap when she was done. Winter sifted through the weeks, like powdered sugar on heart shaped cookies. It stayed this year, steadily white on the hillside and the mound in the front yard grew and grew until it became a magical sledding run that children played upon after school and where mommies and daddies slipped out to after the kids were in bed. This week, these past few days, the sun has made himself known. The sidewalks are almost all clear now, and under the scrub oak trees there is evidence of impending crocuses, little bumps of deep earthy green pushing their way up through the dirt. Thirsty primroses lift their withered heads to the sunlight. We push aside the curtains and let the warmth come in, and with it comes the hope of Spring. Of tomatoes in the grow boxes; of fresh snap peas; and of afternoons in Gram’s back yard watching the kids splash in the wading pool. Hope eternal.
It seems fitting, on this Springlike day, that Ruby made her fist appearance to the outside world in the little white cotton dress I found nine years ago in an antiques shop in Wales. Dave and I had journeyed across the ocean to retrieve our son, fresh with the spirit and sweetness and verve of a missionary. It was a sacred and precious time, being with him in his element, in the place he loved, with the people he loved, watching him in the final few days of doing work he loved. It was a precious time. I knew somehow these would be the last moments when my boy was just my boy. And I was right. Today that boy-turned-man stood in his Sunday suit and carried his third child, little Ruby to the front of the church, that long white 100 year old blessing dress wrapped around his precious angel of a girl. I watched from the pew where I was sitting and felt the convergence of powerful forces. The past, with its glories and sorrows, its moments of struggle followed almost certainly with wisdom if not joy; met face to face with the future of one little girl. Today… with all the beauty of Ruby’s father’s tender words of blessing, pronounced from worthy lips; with the joy of loved ones coming together in celebration and worship; with one sweet little family of five huddling together in prayer… I recognize today as the meeting place for all of Ruby’s tomorrows. What tomorrow brings to Ruby, on this her Blessing Day, is a brilliant bouquet of uncertainty. It is her gift. Uncertainty. It opens for her all the world of possibility: dances she will dance; still and silent moments; songs, and stories and kisses and tears. All is uncertainty and possibility and wonder! Take this and cherish it, little child of our hearts. Wars, on this earth and elsewhere, were fought for this gift alone.
The Maker of all good things gave our Ruby many treasures: a mother and father who love each other and who love their children; a household of warmth and candor and thoughtfulness; beauty for the world to behold in her father’s laughing eyes and her mother’s smile. All good and dependable things, which make her future likely and shining, but by no means guaranteed. Therein lies the beauty. The tension…that same kind of tension that makes her daddy’s guitar strings ring so sweetly…is in the uncertainty. It keeps us on our toes. It compels us to remain interested. We are wise to be aware of it. Uncertainty is the gift.
Blessings on you, little Ruby, that your uncertain future lays comfortably in the nest of probability; for you are, irrevocably and unconditionally, and eternally loved. It puts the odds in your favor.


  1. What a beautiful thing read at 8:05 in the morning. Knowing little Ruby makes it all the more meaningful.

  2. thanks cor. you make all things so beautiful in the way you see them and write them. little ruby, parks and soph are lucky to call you gummy. i love you.