A Story About Light (a birthday message for our daughter)

For we are God’s accomplishment, created in Christ Jesus to do good things. God planned for these good things to be the way that we live our lives. – Ephesians 2:10

1-IMG_E0760-001I don’t always write about our children on the occasion of their birthdays, but this morning (especially following yesterday’s more serious article about abuse in the Catholic Church) I want to offer a simple, positive, heartwarming post.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Reflecting on this day (our son turned 36 earlier in the summer) I am both bewildered by a sense of the accelerated passage of time and grateful beyond measure because of the good, grounded, faithful, kind, accomplished people both Andrew and Naomi have become.

So today, by virtue of some inexplicable disruption in the space-time continuum, our daughter – Naomi – has somehow managed to turn 34.

We talked with her via FaceTime in the parking lot just before she went to work. That’s a screenshot (left) taken during our conversation early this morning. Our wonderful grandchildren, David and Beks, made a beautiful video of themselves singing “Happy Birthday” with the dog yesterday evening. “This is in case we’re still asleep when you go to work, Mommie,” they said.

I don’t spend a lot of time thumbing through old pictures but a few minutes ago I was moved to pull out one of my favorites from around 1988. I believe Rebekah would have been 32, with Naomi and Andrew in the vicinity of four and six.

1-IMG_0761-001You see the way they are all illuminated by the light as if it’s coming from the book? Well, that is how our effervescent daughter lights up the world around her today. She is a beautiful story and full with sunshine.

To be honest, it can be a challenge sometimes to respond positively to God’s call for us to be light and to share light in this difficult world. But that is our responsibility as “gospeled” people.

Naomi just happens to do it better, with more enthusiasm, and more authentically than almost anyone else I know.

Here’s the birthday song we sang to her on FaceTime this morning (rhyming on the fly):

“Happy happy birthday, today you’re thirty-four; happy happy birthday, it’s you who we adore. Happy happy birthday, we are so proud of you; happy happy birthday, you still look twenty-two.”

Joy to everyone – Derek

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