Monday, August 10, 2009

No More Bumps: The Birth of Matthew Aaron (Part Three)

I bet you all thought I was finished! Gotcha!! Well, I saved the most important parts for last...

Sunday the two boys and I trooped off to church by ourselves as Matt wasn't flying in until late in the evening. I took the stroller to make it easier so I could push the baby and when we got to the stairs, a friend helped me by holding Joey's hand as he walked up. She commented as we were going that Joey was so much more tentative than her own son, several months Joey's junior.

He is tentative, he likes to know that he can do something before he even tries. He won't say words that he isn't sure he can say. He moves very deliberately and always has. He is a cautious child. I know this will serve him as both a blessing and a curse. He might have the maturity to think something through before plunging in, and be more careful than some of his peers. He also may be too tentative to try things that are good for him, things that he might succeed at or mistakes that could be made and learned from.

At church our lesson was on our callings and the life of Moses. The Gospel reading was from Exodus and inspired me to finally wrap up the story of Matthew's birth. Therefore the story of his name gets the final (and hopefully most exciting) telling. Matt had said long before we knew he was a boy that he might like to have a son named after him. He didn't want to name his first son Matthew because then people would definitely be inclined to "Jr." him and Matt really didn't want that.

Matthew means "gift of God" and he truly has been. He and his daddy are both tremendous gifts for me!! We settled quite easily on Aaron. Really, if Matt had not wanted a son named after him, Matthew's first name might well be Aaron, you see Aaron is the name of Matt's best friend. The name means mountain, (or sometimes lofty, exalted or mountain of strength). Our Aaron truly embodies all of those qualities. He cares for Matt as a brother and loves him dearly. He is definitely a pillar of strength and I can think of no other person for whom I would rather have my second son named for. You see, in the Bible Aaron was called by the Lord to be a helper for his brother and together they obeyed God's commands to deliver the tribe of Israel from Egypt.

Aaron's story in my retelling would be loooong. I am way too wordy, SO instead I will encourage you to refresh your memory by starting in Exodus, Chapter 3. It is here where Moses first speaks with God who appears to him in the burning bush and calls him to speak to the people of Israel and deliver God's message. For the rest of Chapter 3 and half of Chapter 4 Moses argues with God. "How will the people know it is You who have sent me?" "What will I tell them You are called?" "What if they will not believe me?" Moses is tentative. Moses is fearful. God is reassuring, answering all of his questions until finally: "...the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses and he said, 'Is there not Aaron, your brother, the Levite I know that he can speak well. Behold, he is coming out to meet you, and when he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. You shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth, and I will be with your mouth and with his mouth and will teach you both what to do." Exodus 4:14,15

Since we are not prepared to name a child Jesus, we are left with the names of many great people who alas, are imperfect, to pass on to our children Josiah was a great king who led Judah to many reforms and brought His people back into obedience of God's laws. But his fathers before him did what was "evil in the sight of the Lord" (2 Kings 21:2) and "committed abominations" (2 Kings 21:10). In fact it wasn't until Josiah's 18th year of rule that it was discovered that his grandfather had concealed God's Book of the Law for kings and when discovered Josiah tore his clothes in grief over "the wrath of the Lord that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book..." (2 Kings 22:13b).

Aaron was called by God to be Moses' helper and immediately went out to meet him and followed God's will in helping Moses lead the Israelites out of Egypt. But, even after he heard God's own voice speaking to the people he fell into temptation and built the Israelites their golden calf , leading to God's wrath and the death of many of his followers.

Both men were great servants of God, but flawed nonetheless. It is our prayer for our sons that they will embody these men. Since this post is about the naming of Matthew in particular it is our strong hope that he will become a helper to his sometimes timid brother. We pray that his ears will be open to hearing God's call for him and that when he loses his way and fails to trust in God, that he will be able to humbly ask for forgiveness and to continue to grow in his relationship with the Lord. I hope that every mistake and misstep he will make will teach him more about the grace and love of Christ.

I also hope that he comes to embody these two great men that he was named for. I hope that he has Matt's patience, generosity and dedication; and Aaron's love, gentleness and adventurous spirit. I can't think of a better name for our second little boy. He is definitely our gift from God!

Aaron, we can't wait to introduce you and your beautiful wife to little Matthew!! We miss you guys so much!


Herb of Grace said...

Don't you just love names? That's one a of my favorite things about having kids...naming them :)

Beautiful post!

Lexie said...

you should consider writing a book laurie! you're such a gifted and witty writer! you have many good things to say and much to offer.

Anonymous said...

We miss you too! So much! You are making us cry over here...much much love to you and yours...