“I was there to hear your borning cry.
I’ll be there when you are old.
I rejoiced the day you were baptized,
to see your life unfold.”
Each time I spot “Borning Cry” in a church bulletin, my inner spiritual slacker rolls her eyes and sinks into the pew. “Here we go again with the cheese-ball hymn,” she scoffs.
I’ve sang/heard this song enough to put it on the level of Um Bop
and Call me Maybe
. The verbs leave me dry, and the sing-song melody borders on annoying. Common as cake on confirmation Sunday, it’s a sentimental favorite for Aunt Ida’s everywhere, so I don’t want to overplay my disdain, but let’s just say (while trying to hide sarcastic tone) that it’s not a favorite.
That is, until last Sunday when it slapped me in the face.
Far from the cheese-ball I’d pegged it for, it socked me between the eyes in the way the best music does–lifting the deep to something new, or returning it to something forgotten. I’d always placed the “your” lyric squarely on my own shoulders, and as I begrudgingly trudged through the lyrics Sunday, the pronoun lilted over to my own daughter’s birthday (another word that I hadn’t really seen until this year), and her baptism flooded my mind.
I’d been singing it without singing IT.
And I found myself gripping the pew next to my knee, working to keep it together. With this new rosetta stone for translation, I got a new sliver of the way God sees it, and even the smallest steps in this direction leave my little knees quaking. The new perspective left me wonder-smiling on the last verse.
“As the evening gently closes in,
and you shut your weary eyes,
I’ll be there as I have always been,
with just one more surprise.”
God is in the “making things new” business, and I love it when His word smacks my preconceptions around, and the deep knowing clears out what I didn’t even realize was gunking up my vision.
Ephesians 1:18 Open the eyes of their hearts, and let the light of Your truth flood in. Shine Your light on the hope You are calling them to embrace.