I'm speaking to myself in this note, but feel free to listen in.
In the words of Ecclesiastes 3:4, today I celebrate the birth of my fourth healthy child; at the same time I mourn my sinful heart. January 5th, 2011, will go down as one of the best days of my life, when my wife and I welcomed a beautiful baby girl into our family and into the world. Into God's world. But I was quickly reminded of the falleness of God's world; I discovered it in my own heart.
After baby Carmandy's delivery in a first-class community hospital maternity ward, in a nation which prioritizes medical care for each of its citizens more or less equally, we were transferred into a shared accommodation recovery room with another recovering mother. Because of maternity ward construction no private or semi-private rooms were available, so we were placed in the same room as this mother recovering from an emergency Caesarean section yesterday. This was her first childbirth and she was extremely upset that she had missed all the "firsts." She groaned that she hadn't even been able to experience the baby's exit properly because she couldn't see what was going on and was foggy-brained due to anaesthesia.
Now that I write this I am even more convicted and ashamed, for in response to this woman's complaint, behind the covering of a curtain I mouthed "idols" to my wife. I wasn't immediately convicted; it only occurred to me gradually as I left the hospital. As I began to thank God for the propitious circumstances of the birth of my child, my conscience began to sear as I realized how petty, how ungrateful, how judgmental I was - as if I had anything to do with the smoothness and successfulness of any one of my children's deliveries? Yet that was exactly what I was implying.
Here's part one of my main point: those feelings and latent thoughts were already in my heart, for out of the well spring of the heart the mouth speaks. Here's part two: I am already forgiven for this act by virtue of my right standing before Christ, purchased by Him at the cross.
Now, I'm not allowing this blot on the landscape of an otherwise stupendous day to become disproportionate to the other, wonderful happenings. You may feel that I am drawing more attention to it than I should by writing a blog entry about it, but it is putting the sin under a microscope that is showing me its true grip on my heart. I trust that shining the light on it is drawing just a bit more of the darkness out, and Christ in.
To the new mother across the room: I wish you all the "firsts" your heart could hope for, and all the "seconds" and "thirds" besides.