For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.
Those words meant nothing to me before September 13th.
Ok, well I might have started this off a little too dramatic, but I will say this: there is nothing more fortifying than experience. Certainly these words had a connotation, they carried a significant meaning in my life, but compared to how I feel now it almost seems as if they were meaningless. Now that I can hold Ellie, this precious little creature, my heart and mind understand collectively. Both facets of my being, now, in one moment, are coalescing together. That is powerful.
I realized that in life this same paradigm is always happening and is usually unnoticed. Take for instance the first time you drive. We had all been in the car our whole lives. But that time at age 16 when you hit the road on your own, white knuckled grip on the steering wheel, it became a completely different experience. Embarrassingly I can remember the first time I pulled out of my childhood driveway in my ever cool green Explorer. I yelled like the opening line in the Beastie Boys' song Sabotage... Seriously... I would liken myself to the boy version of James T. Kirk. Yes that was a Star Trek reference. Except there was no sweet red corvette, impending cliff, or hovering police bike, but driving was real.
I am sure that passage from Psalms 139 also means something different to my wife. And I must say my wife is freaking amazing. In every literal sense of those words. Freaking. Amazing. As her water broke and the contractions began to pour in and maybe some expletives ran through her mind... Her experience brought deep meaning in a way even I can not truly understand. I held her hand and as the contractions moved closer together and as tears welled in my eyes we welcomed a little beauty into our world. Marriage became deeper. Love became even more tangible.
Hold on, hold on. Do not misunderstand me. Marriage and love are not dependent upon the raising of children. Each marriage or relationship is marked by a unique set of circumstances. Some good, some bad, and some ugly. The important thing to remember here is that I am giving you an intimate snapshot of my life right now. And at this time, having a baby, has been real good.
What I have learned quickly as a new dad is that head knowledge that does not affect the heart is worthless. Head knowledge can only take you so far and it is not truly materialized unless it is accompanied with reality. This is when knowledge and experience become something all together different: wisdom. We are always challenged to know, know, memorize, study, know, know... This is important. But what if we also felt? And in so feeling what we know, we act? I know my daughter is here, I have experienced the incredible birth process, and now I react in love. Is this not how it should be? And as we look to this world and all the people that inhabit it we too should know, experience, and act. The ownership over our own knowledge is everything and hopefully we can begin to view the world through eyes that have become sensitive to knowledge through experience and reactive in a way that brings positive change.
Would I be crazy to then apply this to the way we view God?... To know, experience, and respond to him? This is a photography blog I won't go there. Yet...
Ellie is only 9 days old and she has already taught me so much. Thank you honey.
I have been eager to share these photos from Ellie's day! Don't worry I have my wife's permission :)
Trust me, I asked...