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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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The 5th of May

It's Stross' birthday and my personal holy day

Each year on the anniversary of my oldest child’s birth, I observe a personal holy day. Like a Jewish High Holy Day, it calls me to a time of remembrance, reconciliation and praise.

This year will mark Stross’ 17th birthday—and my 17th day of awakening. At dawn I’ll feel a call to awareness that begins with a review of my life as a mother. It’s a time that draws me into a renewed relationship with the Creator—the One who formed me in my mother’s womb and shaped my son in the warm darkness of my own.

Mark Newcom <BR><BR>For Stross Newcomand
For Stross Newcom and his mother, Joy, May 5 is a special day. It’s Stross’ birthday—and Joy experiences anew ‘God’s divine pervasiveness.’
The previous 16 years have taught me what to expect. Sometime after Stross’ birthday breakfast, with the opening of presents and promises of cake for later, I’ll hear God speaking to me—Spirit to spirit. Then my prayers will spill forth, as tears of regret mixed with gratitude. Regret for all the moments I took for granted during previous years and gratitude for the gift of my son. Sometimes I find space to be alone. Other times I simply allow the day to unfold, accepting the moments as they come—whether driving the car or grocery shopping.

It doesn’t matter what I plan to do that day. I’ve learned I can’t circumvent the experience. I accept its certainty, allowing myself to be awed by its life-giving force.

When Stross arrived in the early morning on May 5, 1991, I wasn’t prepared for the formidable force of his life. Born with multiple birth defects, physical and intellectual, he introduced me to a new way of looking at the world. Imperfect as he was by the world’s standards, my son had arrived whole—perfect in my sight and in God’s.


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