You probably think that I am about to wax on about the miracle of childbirth. I’m not. Not because it’s not miraculous. It is. I posted this photo because the sight of it struck me so.How do I explain? This is a man whom I respect and admire. He is not perfect. I do not pretend he is without flaw. He does, however, live out of a certain sense of duty, virtue, and ethics.

That also has nothing to do with why I posted his photograph. Truth be told, I miss him. Both he and his wife are dear friends of ours, and we rarely see them. Now Russ is a father and Christi is a mother. They have been translated into another phase of existence. This is beautiful. It is also lonely.

It’s a loneliness that only those of you who allow yourselves to indulge in a little self absorption would likely recognize. When you can go to a wedding, a funeral, a birth, a celebration, and walk away with a sad loneliness and sense of personal loss, you have arrived at the type of feeling to which I refer.

Russ will never be a bachelor again. He will never not be a father. He is forever something else. Something much more, perhaps, yet still something “other”. It’s not that I wish he would return to his former state. I do not wish him to undo his lifelong covenant with his bride. But the past is something never to be regained, and significant events state this truth clearly to those of us paying attention. Once you pass a milestone, it becomes yet another marker in time you will never recover.

The miracle, though, is that this man is a father. Yes, it is a miracle that the baby was conceived, carried to term, and born. But I see a miracle in Russ. I see a man in the process of development, nurtured and challenged by the march of time.

Though younger than me by a year or two, he has learned some valuable lessons about living and treating one’s neighbor that I still struggle to learn. He has patented the ability to nurture a fragile person without wounding his or her ego. He knows how to listen, to ask the right type of questions, and to speak with a heart that expresses true concern for the other person’s well-being. And now he is a father.

Our beliefs are not identical. For all I know, he may think of me as a radical charismatic. We do not see eye to eye on everything, but I have high hopes for this child, and any children to follow. They have a blessed future: two loving parents devoted to truth and to the tender expression of it to those in need.

The miracle of life is that sometimes a child is born into the right family.

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