"I thought about the whole notion of "reproduction," and what it really means to replicate yourself. Is it merely about the passing on of eyes and chins and hair color? Or is it, rather, the replication of the heart? Do we leave a bigger mark by passing on our genes, or our thoughts?"
~ Shannon Woodward, author of
Inconceivable: Finding Peace
in the Midst of Infertility ~
As I'm writing this, my daughter will give birth in a day or so to her first child, Landon. We've seen his shadowy image on an ultrasound. What he really looks like remains to be seen. (I can't wait!)
Will he have dark auburn hair like our daughter? Or more of the sandy color of my son-in-law? I wonder if he will be long and lean, like his mother. He might look like a football or wrestling coach's dream, more stocky like his father. It's likely his eyes will be hazel. We, his family, will believe and declare him beautiful. Really though, he'll be a bit funny looking, in that precious, brand new baby, red face with a few odd marks here and there, kind of way. What he eventually looks like, later down the road, is of little consequence to us, his grandparents. He will be family, and that's all that matters to us. He gets to be in 'The Club'. Whether he wants to or not. Likely his parents feel the same. Right now they're just praying for the right numbers of everything, in all the right places. Parents of a newborn aren't real picky or objective.
He's here! Perfect we think...
We wonder - will he be as loyal as his father and mother are - standing by his family and friends, through thick and thin? Will he be honest to a fault, once he gets beyond that childlike "lying to cover my tail" stage? We wonder if he will be exuberant, a bit talkative, like his mommy, or will he be shy and quiet like his father. (Our family could use a few more of the latter!).
We don't wonder, we pray, he will see his parents and extended family living lives that honor God and all that is truly important. We pray he will be impacted by the day-to-day choices his parents make. Choices based on knowing what they do matters in the scope of eternity. We pray that early in life, he will make an eternal choice to be a Christ-follower. All other choices pale in comparison.
We pray he will "be willing to stand, even if he has to stand alone" as our senior pastor puts it when he dedicates infants. (I love it when he says that.) Likely, at some point in his life he will have to do that - stand alone.
Because he is biologically made up of Leslie and Jeremy's genes, he will resemble them, maybe her nose, his forehead, or vice versa. If he were biologically from other parents, he would look different. That which really matters will largely be determined by the parents given the gift and challenge of raising him, not what his gene makeup is.
Scripture tells us we are like "fading grass", here for a moment. These earthly shells we're given don't last very long. What we look like while we're passing through is of little consequence. The mark we leave behind - that matters. What we look like when we step into eternity - that matters too. I'm confident Landon will bear "a bigger mark" - that of the two godly parents who are reproducing in him what really matters.
posted at 10:00 AM