1375) “Do You Think She’ll Remember?”

Image result for crying newborn images

By Fred Craddock, Craddock Stories, pages 126-127 (adapted).

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     Up near where I live, at Fannin County Hospital, ministers around take turns being chaplain for the week.  I took my turn, and the week I was on watch, there was a baby born.  Not many are born in that small, thirty-bed hospital.  But I went there, it was about nine o’clock in the morning, and I saw all these people gathered, looking through the glass.  There was that little bitty new baby, and it looked like a clan of people gathered around.  I said, “What is it, boy or girl?”           

     “It’s a girl.”    

     “What’s the name?”    

     “Elizabeth.”    

     “Well, is the father over here in this group?” 

     “No.”  I looked back over behind me, and leaning against the wall was a young man.

     He said,” I’m the father.”

     I said, “Baby’s name Elizabeth?”

     “Yeah.”

    “Beautiful baby,” I said.  She was screaming— you couldn’t hear through the glass— but she was crying and screaming and red faced, and all like that.  I thought maybe he might be concerned, and I said, “Now, she’s not sick.  It’s good for babies to scream and do all that.  It clears out their lungs and gets their voices going.  It’s all right.”

     He said, “Oh, I know she’s not sick.  But she is mad as hell.”  And then he said, “Pardon me, Reverend.”

     I said,”That’s all right.  Why is she mad?”

     He said, “Well, wouldn’t you be mad?  One minute you’re with God in heaven and the next minute you’re in Georgia.”

     Well!  I thought, Man, I’ve got myself a real hillbilly theologian here on my hands.  I said, “You believe she was with God before she came here?”

     He said, “Oh, yeah.”

     I said, “You think she’ll remember?”

     He said, “Well, that’s up to her mother and me.  It’s up to the church.  We’ve got to see that she remembers, ’cause if she forgets, she’s a goner.”

      That hillbilly is smart.  He knows what God expects of him as a father.

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Proverbs 22:6  —  Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Ecclesiastes 12:1  —  Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, “I find no pleasure in them.”

Psalm 78:5-7  —  (The Lord) decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children.  Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.

Deuteronomy 4:9  —  Be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live.  Teach them to your children and to their children after them.

Luke 22:19  —  (Jesus) took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”

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PARENTS’ PRAYER AFTER THE BIRTH OF A CHILD:

We thank Thee, O God our Father, for giving us this child to bring up for Thee.  Help us as true disciples to set her a good example in all we think or say or do.  Keep her well in body and mind, and grant that she may grow in grace and in the knowledge of Thy Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ.  Amen.

–From Prayers New and Old, ed. by Clement Walsh