“I was there to hear your borning cry, I’ll be there when you are old. I rejoiced the day you were baptized to see your life unfold.”—ELW 732
First, I have to admit that the above hymn is not my favorite. When the choir director at my little home church in Conover, WI found this hymn, we sang it ALL OF THE TIME! Every baptism, funeral, confirmation, life change in general, we would sing it. In fact, if someone sneezed in church, instead of saying “God bless you,” we would all break into Borning Cry. (Ok, that’s a joke but we sang the song all of the time!) So, I don’t need to hear it very often and I won’t be picking it as a hymn for worship anytime soon.
As most of you know, my sister-in-law, Zibby, died in early May and we sang Borning Cry at her Memorial Service. And, I was reminded of what the song actually means. It’s a reminder of God’s promise to be with us throughout our lives. And, even more, to cheer us on in life. Zibby had her struggles in this life but the service and this song reminded me that God was with her even in the midst of the dark days of her life. Of course, I know this but sometimes I need a reminder.
This month will be filled with moments that the promise from God to be present will hit me even more. Our daughter Evelyn is getting confirmed and graduating from High School. I can hear her cries as an infant, still ringing in my ears, because she cried a lot. But now, I see her for the beautiful woman that she is. And, I get teary eyed just thinking about the transitions to come. I can see the way God has cheered her on so far, certainly more than she can at this point. But my hope for her, my hope for all of our confirmands and graduates, my hope for all of you, is that you will all continue to see the ways that God is with you; cheering you on and guiding you through this life.
God promises to be with us on our best days and on our worse days; to see our lives unfold. What a promise, what a gift!