I am not a good poet, but in times of great thought and emotion, a poem springs forth. The day Ashley told me she was pregnant, welling within me were thoughts and feelings that I had to capture and put to form. (Apologies to Dr. Simons, my poetry teacher.)
To My FirstbornTo my firstborn, I don’t know which direction you might go In life. I’ve never heard you cry, I’ve never heard a solemn sigh. And I don’t know your name just yet, but when I think of you I get A deep, abiding feeling of love, something before I’d only heard of— How a dad’s heart longs to hold; protect and keep within the fold of safety. How I wait to see your love surround our family. But more than anything, I pray, that you would love God more than day. —
To my firstborn, I don’t know what makes you laugh. What kind of joke Will I tell just for the sake of hearing your laugh silence break? And as your breath emits the sound, what noise will come when bliss abounds? In time, we will learn all these thrills, discovering the joy that fills Our rooms with dear and pleasant riches, holding close our family’s wishes: That as you seek to love God first, we pray he’ll give you an unsatisfied thirst For truth, for knowledge, for wisdom above— all blanketed in an innocent love. —
To my firstborn, an emotion follows, filling up my inner hollows with complete weakness, total inept, to help you say “God’s ways, I’ve kept from my youth, I’ve failed at times, but Christ forgave, his love—it binds my heart to his.” And so we come, your mother and I before the throne of grace and cry out before the living God for grace to pour upon our humble place. He gently pats me on the arm, and calms my heart from this alarm, “My grace is enough when you are weak. Cast your cares to the cross and only trust me.” —
To my firstborn, seek wisdom for any cost! Without it we are all but lost. Be wise in what you choose to do, your choice of friends needs wisdom too. Be wise in how you choose a spouse, consult the living God and dowse Your days and nights in earnest prayer, there’s misery in an unhappy pair. And when the times comes when you cleave to another, remember to always be blessing your mother, So in winter, warm, all clothed and dressed— rise up and call your mother blessed, Her love is deep and maternally adorned, deluge her with blessings and laud her, firstborn. —
To my firstborn, be strong and be brave, to fight for the truth all life to the grave! So when the time comes to exit our home, and enter the world of scary unknown Stay close to your family, if only in soul. But go as God leads you, to the ends of the world. And when the storms of life glare down, I pray your eyes are heaven-bound, And when the Lord permits delight, I pray you’ll thank him in the night. And if the Lord demands your life, I pray you’ll look at me and my wife, Remind me that it’s worth all the pain, because for you, to die is gain.