A Letter to my Son
To the child currently kicking me in the ribs and trying to shove my lungs out of the way:
I love you.
Right now, you are still safe. You are still sheltered. In a few short weeks, that all changes.
You will enter this world and it will be messy. There will be crying (from both of us) and screaming (from me) and much testing of the strength of your dad’s hand (again, from me).
You will enter a world that is not safe. A world that is filled with hurt and hostility. A world that offers so many doors to disappointment.
And I pray that I never hide that from you. I pray that you will see this world filled with hurt and that you will hurt for this world.
Because I pray most of all that you will understand the meaning of your name.
Your name is Tobias. It is the Greek form of the Hebrew name, Tobiah, and means “God is Good.”
My one desire for your life is that you know this truth: that God is Good.
There will be many times that you may question this. You will see suffering. You will see injustice. You will see people choose hate.
You will ask where is God’s goodness in this mess of a world.
You will be tempted to think that only we can fix ourselves. That if we only try hard enough, then no more suffering, no more injustice, no more hate.
But I pray that the truth of your name washes over you – that it floods your life.
I pray that you know we are broken and the only healing is the goodness of God.
The God who is making you as I write these words, the God who has carefully designed your fingers and eyes and all the hairs on your head- this God offers the only thing that can change this world.
This hope takes shattered lives and fills them with purpose until their light overflows into the darkness around them.
This hope allows us to forgive when logic dictates otherwise. It frees us to feel compassion for those who have none. It leads our feet to walk onto dangerous ground and our hands to serve those who have nothing.
This hope – it is what stands between despair and security, between struggle and peace, between doubt and clarity.
You will know pain. You will know fear. You will know grief.
But you will have a choice: to see that God is good through all of it or to reject His goodness.
There will come a time, probably when you’re seventeen, that you will suddenly realize that your dad and I know next to nothing. This is true.
But we know this: God is Good.
And if this knowledge is the only thing you ever learn from us, then we have done exactly what God entrusted us to do when He gave us you.
We love you, Tobias. Just to be able to write those words …. God has been so very good.