I’m on call. On any day, at any time, day or night, regardless of my schedule or the airing of Downton Abbey, I might receive a call that Monique is in labor.
For years I have told Monique I would not be present when she gave birth. Citing her dramatics and whining episodes, I have told her when the miracle of birth is complete, she is to call me and I will bring a nice little gift to the hospital.
Now that my firstborn is days away from delivering her own daughter, she is ignoring everything I have previously said. Not only has she requested my presence in the birthing room, she has also given me a job to do. A job! In the midst of her labor and delivery, I have been asked to be the photographer. The photographer!
I do enjoy the hobby of photography and have filled the space on my computer with snapshots of family celebrations, school plays, graduations, sporting events, and most recently, Adeline, my first grandchild. Someone recently commented, “Adeline doesn’t take a bad picture. “
I immediately explained the secret to any success I may experience as a photographer, “I delete the bad ones.” I am not about to exhibit pictures of poor quality. And now, on the brink of my second granddaughter’s birth, all I can think about is whether or not I will succeed in capturing the first precious moments of Olivia’s life.
So, here’s my plan. As soon as I get into the delivery room, I’ll become aware of the lighting, take a few test shots, and adjust my position or the camera’s settings, or both. I can’t risk shadowy pictures which might hide the baby.
Shadows. Although dreaded in photography and on dark, lonely streets, it’s where I run to when afraid. I cling to the shadow of the Almighty. Nestled close to the Father, I find rest, a break from the heat of whatever battle I’m facing, and protection. Trusting I will only experience those things He allows in my life, I turn to God for support and direction. The plea of David, in Psalm 17:8 becomes mine. “Keep me as the apple of your eye, hide me in the shadow of your wings.”
It’s not that I always expect to be spared difficulty or pain, although I believe we have no idea how many tragedies we’ve escaped, I simply find peace and strength from faith in an ever-vigilant, always loving God. Perhaps Christian musician Mike Donehey said it best. Paramedics reported he lost his pulse more than once on the way to the hospital after a car crash. He was told he would never walk again, yet two months later, he was up, moving, and eager to play soccer. Donehey is quoted as saying, “Sometimes God redeems us from struggles. Sometimes God redeems us through struggles.”
I guess you could say that every day, and every time, during the bright sunny days and through the night seasons of my life, God is on call. Hopefully, He’ll offer a little guidance on this delivery photography. I can’t wait to see what develops.