Seven years ago today I gave birth to our fourth son. He was born in the early afternoon and surprised us with his gender and weight. After two boys in a row, everyone was certain he was a girl; a little sister for my big girl who desperately wanted someone to play dolls with. But there he was at 9lbs and 8oz and nearly 22 inches long, a BIG boy! We had no idea what to name him; a few short weeks prior to his birth, I sat in a friend’s living room and received prayer and a word that this baby would be a gift of God’s merciful love. The name we had picked out if he was a girl, was Sadie after my husband’s grandmother Mercedes, which means Our Lady of Mercy. It was the confirmation I needed. This baby was a girl.
“God has a sense of humor,” I thought as I held this giant baby in my arms, who seemed to only quiet at being held close and nursed constantly. “What are we going to name you? “ I pondered as the hours turned into days. The day we were discharged from the hospital my husband and I sat pouring over names. Each time he made a suggestion I would ask, “What does it mean?”
Finally, almost out of the blue, he said “What about John? We can call him Jack.”
“Jack, I like Jack!” I cried. “But what does it mean?”
“Let me see,” He patiently sighed flipping through the by now worn pages of the book. “It means God’s merciful love.”
“That’s it!” I exclaimed. We will name him John after John the beloved.
“And call him, Jack” my sleepy husband clarified.
“Yes, Jack, I love it!” I said sitting back in the bed and letting it sink in.
My husband beamed his endearing broad toothy grin while his chocolate brown eyes twinkled with the delight of making me smile. “What about a middle name?”
Without missing a beat I said, “David, after God’s beloved king! This baby will be named after God’s cherished in the old and new testament.”
“Perfect, John David Daunt. It has a nice ring to it.” He closed the book and we both looked at our new baby with great love and expectation.
The last seven years have not been without challenges. Jack has been by far our most surprising child. Each day we learn something new about him and have come to understand that he is made from a different mold than the others. He needs us more. Feeling everything with great intensity, he is not afraid to share it. At times it overwhelms me, I am not always sure how to respond and I am afraid I don’t always respond well to his passion and intensity. One thing I do know is I have learned more about who I am by mothering him. God has used him to bring me deeper into my own intense heart that has been closed for too long. There is not a day that goes by that he doesn’t say something that melts my stony adult heart into a childlike puddle of mush. His great love makes us all love more.
He truly is a cherished gift of God’s merciful love.