|Monday, March 16||
I was there to hear your borning cry,
I’ll be there when you are old.
I rejoiced the day you were baptized,
to see your life unfold.
I first heard this song when I was a young father in South Carolina. The lyrics tell of a journey through life that touched me emotionally when set to that rolling melody we sing from With One Voice. As I sang the song that first time, it seemed as though the words came straight from my mother talking to me.
We had recently baptized our first child, and while I was happy at that occasion my mother truly rejoiced at the baptism and it was plain to see. I knew how diligently and faithfully she made sure I heard the wonder of the Word as I grew from a child to an adult, and I knew this was now a role I needed to fill for my young family. This song provides a blueprint of what the whole parenthood experience would be like.
This time of Lent is a time for reflection and repentance which this song addresses as the time we have “wandered off to find where demons dwell.” That such a time occurs in everyone’s life seems to imply that it is part of human nature. Selfish thoughts, selfish words and selfish actions seem to be common with many of the demons that we eventually find. Some of these demons are easily recognized and quickly banished, but others are hard to see and stay with us longer than others. The living God to whom we belong will forgive us when we repent, and help us to put those demons behind us.
That first time I heard this song, I digested the words from the perspective of the subject of the song and related to how well it matched the arc of my life to that point. I knew I was fortunate to have loving parents to cheer me on and fortunate that the demons I found left few lasting marks.
I'm an old father now, and continue to think of this song as I see my children passing through the arc of life described in the song. I pray that I am able to always be there to cheer them on when they need it, so that they may come to a stronger faith knowing where they belong.
I've also learned that it is not just my own children that I need to cheer and encourage. Even a brief word or two to a colleague at work or another member at church can be important to help them keep up that faith that suits us so well.
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